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Braised Pork Cheeks

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Level: Easy

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Description

A tough cut of meat cooked slowly in liquid until beautifully tender.

Ingredients

  • 4 pieces Pork Cheek
  • 2 Tablespoons Flour
  • Salt And Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 2 whole Onions, Peeled And Sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 165 milliliters Apple Cider
  • 750 milliliters Chicken Stock
  • 3 sprigs Thyme
  • 3 sprigs Rosemary
  • 2 leaves Bay Leaf

Preparation

Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).

If pork cheeks have a lot of fat surrounding the meat, trim most of it off because the dish will end up being too greasy.

Put flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Add pork cheeks and coat them in flour.

Heat a deep oven-proof frying pan or a pot on high heat. Add vegetable oil, take pork cheeks and shake off any excess flour, then place in the pan. Brown for 2–3 minutes on both sides until meat has a lovely golden colour.

Once pork cheeks are well-coloured, remove from pan and transfer to a plate. Turn heat down on the stove to about medium heat, then add sliced onions. Fry until translucent, then add garlic and fry for a another minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.

Add balsamic vinegar and apple cider. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer. Reduce cider for about 5 minutes until thick. Return the pork cheeks to the pot, then add just enough stock to almost cover the pork cheeks about 3/4 of the way up. Then add thyme, rosemary and bay leaves.

Put in the oven and cook for 2 hours. Remove from the pot/pan, then transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Now would be a good time to discard the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves.

Put the pan back on the stove (remember to use a tea-towel or mittens to protect your hands) and then continue to simmer sauce for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. If you see any fat floating on top, skim it off with a spoon or a ladle.

Once sauce is done, shred or slice the pork if desired. Serve.

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