IMG_2355When you raise your own pork you respect every bit of the pig.  From pig’s ears to its tail you don’t waste any part of your precious pig.  Pork cheeks are the slip of meat in the hollow just below the eye.   Cooked slowly it becomes meltingly, incredibly tender.  The meat dark as night.   A generous lashing of sherry.  A dash or two of sweet smoked paprika and cumin.  Onion, garlic and carrots – all  combine to add delicious layers of flavour. The sauce becomes so incredibly rich one wants to ladle it lavishly over creamy mashed potatoes.   Pork cheeks simmers away in this flavourful sauce for a few hours filling your kitchen with their delicious aroma. Pork cheeks are an economical cut and should be available at your butcher.  You may have to order it in advance but it is so worth the wait.

IMG_2347Take your time to slowly brown pork cheeks on all sides.

IMG_2346Simmer slowly in the oven adding more liquid if necessary.

: slow cooked braised pork
Cuisine: Canadian
: 4
Off cut - pork cheeks braised and slowly cooked in a rich sauce and served with creamy mashed potatoes
  • 1 to 1 1 /2 pounds of pork cheeks, excess fat trimmed and meat cut into 2 or 3 pieces. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped.
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper.
  • 2 fat cloves of garlic cloves, crushed.
  • 1½ cups finely chopped carrots.
  • A generous ½ teaspoon ground cumin.
  • 1 generous teaspoon sweet smoked paprika,
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • A small tied bundle fresh thyme.
  • A generous ½ cup sherry (sweet or dry)
  • 1 - 2 cups pork stock. (or beef stock)
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  1. In a Dutch oven put a good dash of olive oil.
  2. Over medium heat brown the pork cheeks on all sides.
  3. Remove pork cheeks and set aside.
  4. If there is excess fat in the pan pour off all but 2 tablespoons.
  5. Add the onions to the pan and sprinkle with salt.
  6. Saute until the onions become translucent.
  7. Add the carrots and garlic cloves and saute for a few minutes.
  8. Add the cumin, bay leaves, thyme and paprika and stir to combine.
  9. Pour in the sherry and scrap up the brown bits at the bottom of the pan.
  10. Simmer the sherry until it reduces by half.
  11. Stir in one cup of the beef stock.
  12. Return the meat to the pan and cover.
  13. Cook at 300F for 2½ to 3 hours until the meat become fork tender adding more stock if needed.
  14. Remove the meat to a serving dish and keep warm.
  15. Remove the thyme bundle and bay leaf from the liquid..
  16. Taste the liquid and add salt and freshly ground pepper as required.
  17. Put the water and flour into a small tightly lidded jar and shake VERY well.
  18. Over high heat whisk the flour/water combination into the liquid in the Dutch oven. Initially use only half of this mixture and then add the rest if your sauce is not thick enough.
  19. Serve with cream mashed potatoes or baked potatoes.


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