Monday, 14 September 2015

MADE: Slow Braised Pigs Cheeks - #1 Cider

Just after I got back from Vegas, the lovely team over at Grey's Fine Foods sent me over a generous delivery of Iberico pigs cheeks and a bottle of Fino en Rama wine. 

Grey's are a Spanish food importer, founder by Javier De La Hormaza in 2012. A self confessed foodie, trained chef and hospitality professional - he's the right guy for the job, with over 12 years experience in some of the best eateries in the UK.

Their range of imported Spanish foods hosts everybody's favourites - beautiful Spanish wines, Iberico hams, the best cheese around and various other deli delights in their impressive catalogue. Not only do they stand out as one of the best Spanish food suppliers in the UK, they also taste test hundreds of products a year to select the best products to seal the deal that they're a firm favourite.

SO, I had a lot of pigs cheeks. A LOT.  1.176kg to be precise.

I had them delivered to my parents house because I figured, if there was anybody that would enjoy tasting these bad boys, it would be them (and also their/our next door neighbour, another self confessed foodie!)

I wanted to do a traditional recipe or a real English gastropub style. With these ideas floating around with these I came to the conclusion of two things - the first being sherry, the second being cider - so I figured, why not split the cheeks and make two different recipes. WINNER!

I opted for one lot (cider) slow cooked in the oven and the second lot (sherry) done for 8 hours in the slow cooker. First recipe up...slow braised pigs cheeks in cider with creamy mash and seasonal veggies.

All you need to serve 4 people (trust me, these are filling!):
Around 1/2 kg of pigs cheeks
1 1/2 bottles (750ml) of dry cider - I used this delight and it was delicious
2 medium sprigs of Rosemary
3 small sprigs of Thyme
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and Pepper, to season
1 oven proof casserole dish - I used our trusty Le Cruset

Preheat the oven to 160 degrees (fan assisted) and allow to heat.

Grab your casserole dish. Pop everything into the dish - if you're in the house while the cheeks are cooking, only put half of the cider in at this point (and the other half part way through cooking). If not, put all of the cider in the casserole dish now.

Allow at least 8 hours to slow cook. The meat will practically fall apart when it's ready to be served.

Dish up with some seasonal veggies and mash...Dinner is served.


*HUGE thank you to the wonderful Grey's Fine Foods for gifting me with the pork cheeks for both of my recipes - all views are my own*

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