Braised pig’s cheeks with tomatoes and borlotti beans

Braised pig’s cheeks with tomatoes and borlotti beans

By
From
Meat
Serves
6
Photographer
Dean Cambray

Pig’s cheeks are fairly fatty, there’s no getting away from it. So this is a dish you’ll want to eat once in a while, rather than every day! As it is rich, serve it with a fresh herb salad and warm crusty bread to mop up the sauce.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
6 pig’s cheeks, fat and skin intact
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
100g butter
2 onions, roughly chopped
10 garlic cloves, flattened with the back of a knife
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon chilli powder
2 bay leaves
1 cup basil leaves
2 cups red wine
1 liter tomato passata
1 cup cooked borlotti beans
1/4 cup snipped chives

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC and season the pig’s cheeks all over with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. When it sizzles, add the cheeks, two at a time, and sauté until browned all over. Remove the cheeks from the casserole and set aside.
  3. Add the butter to the same casserole dish and heat gently until it begins to sizzle. Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrot and sweat for 5 minutes, or until just softened. Add the fennel seeds, chilli powder, bay leaves and half of the basil leaves. Stir well and sweat for 2 minutes. Add the wine to the pan and increase the heat to high. Bubble vigorously for 5 minutes, until slightly reduced, then add the tomato passata and stir well.
  4. Return the pig’s cheeks to the casserole dish, making sure they are covered with the sauce. Braise in the oven, uncovered, for 2½ hours. Check every 30 minutes or so and turn the cheeks around in the sauce. When cooked, the cheeks should be very tender – you should be able to flake the meat easily with a fork.
  5. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, stir in the borlotti beans. Remove the bay leaves and scatter with the rest of the basil and chives just before serving.
Tags:
Meat
Adrian
Richardson
La
Luna
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