Justine says: “Please don’t let the name put you off, although I do understand that it’s not immediately enticing. These, when slow cooked, are utterly delicious, and a very affordable cut of meat too.
Serve with rice, or, if not using potatoes in the dish, with mashed potato.
I use a very heavy casserole pot for this, which I think is best.”
Slow Roast Pig’s Cheeks
Serves 4, generously
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
8 pigs cheeks
3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
1 large white onion, finely chopped
1 celery stick, chopped
2 fat cloves garlic, peeled and microplaned
2 tbsp olive oil
3 bay leaves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fennel seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
1 tsp mustard seeds, ground in a pestle and mortar
1 cup red wine
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp Maldon Salt
good grinding black pepper
Pinch white pepper
400g small or salad potatoes, halved
¼ cup chopped parsley
few basil leaves, chopped
Zest and juice of ½ a lemon
Heat the oil and butter in a large, heavy bottomed casserole dish. Add the garlic, carrot, celery and onion, and the spices. Sauté for 10 minutes or so. Add the cheeks, and turn the heat up slightly. Allow these to brown: this should take about 10-15 minutes. Ensure both sides are browned well, then add the red wine to deglaze the pan. Keep stirring for a few minutes while it deglazes, then add the potatoes, tomato paste, tinned tomatoes, sugar, salt and the white and black peppers. Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for 15 minutes on the stove top before popping in a preheated oven: keep it at 180 degrees for the first 45 minutes, then turn down to 150 and keep cooking for a further 2 hours.
I have the lid off while mine cooks: however, if your oven dries things out, keep a tin foil lid on top of the casserole to ensure it doesn’t dry out.
Add the chopped fresh herbs and lemon zest just before serving. Please remember to taste for seasoning: it may need more salt, or indeed a little bit more sugar.
Michael’s wine recommendation – CLICK HERE
I live on Salisbury Plain, England, in a very old, wonky thatched cottage that looks like it’s been iced with royal icing and topped with Shredded Wheat. I grew up in South Africa, but have lived in England for 18 years.
I run my design business, Hector and Haddock, from my studio at home where I design linocuts, screen prints, tea towels and greeting cards. A complete bibliophile and self confessed hoarder, all of my designs and work pay homage to vintage graphics and paper. I also use this extensive paper ephemera collection to create bespoke paper pictures for clients.
More than anything, I love to cook for people. I hope that you find these recipes helpful, inspiring and delicious, even if you don’t follow a gluten free diet. There’s more on the inspiration behind my blog in The Plain Kitchen