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Braised Pigs’ Cheeks in a Creamy Cider Sauce

This is a great recipe that I have been given by one of the customers in the shop, who serves it at her B&B (Beck House Farm, Addingham). Pigs’ cheeks are a fantastic cut of meat, hugely fashionable in restaurants, but only 60p each when you buy them from your friendly local butcher! Braising them in a sauce like this is the best way to cook them, producing lovely tender meat with loads of flavour. Why not give it a try over the bank holiday weekend?

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 12 Pigs Cheeks
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Large Onion Finely Sliced
  • 2 Carrots Diced
  • 2 Leeks Finely Chopped
  • A knob of Butter
  • 5 Fresh Thyme Sprigs Stripped
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tbsp Runny Honey
  • 200ml Good Quality Cider
  • 200ml Chicken Stock
  • 1 heaped tsp Grainy Mustard
  • 1 heaped tsp Horseradish Sauce
  • 100ml Double Cream

Method:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 150 degrees C. Dust the pigs’ cheeks in seasoned flour.
  2. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy based casserole with a tight fitting lid. Brown the pigs’ cheeks in the oil for 2 to 3 minutes each side. Remove and set aside.
  3. Gently fry the onion, leek and carrot in the remaining oil and butter for 20 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the herbs and honey and cook over a medium heat until the vegetables are golden brown and sticky.
  5. Return the pigs’ cheeks to the casserole and add the cider and stock.
  6. Season, bring to the boil and cover with lid.
  7. Cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until tender.
  8. Remove the pigs’ cheeks and keep warm.
  9. Bring the sauce to the boil and add the mustard, horseradish and cream, and bubble for 5-10 minutes until rich, golden and thickened.
  10. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  11. Return pigs’ cheeks to casserole and serve.

This is a rich dish, so is best served with something to mop up all those lovely flavours, mashed potato and steamed kale or cabbage is ideal. If you prefer, you can also use all mustard instead of horse-radish, but I agree with Cath that it adds a nice earthiness to the dish.

Just the best quality you can wish for.

— Sarah, via facebook