Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks – Eating with a Grin

Sometimes when I’m really bored, I’ll sit around trying to think up fake Mark Twain food quotations. For example, “The best beef stew I ever had, was pork cheeks in San Francisco.” That was inspired by the fact these delicious, easy to prepare clumps of pork really do taste like an extra-rich beef shoulder. 

You will have to speak with an actual real, live butcher, but they’re generally harmless, and if they sell fresh pork, I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to order you some cheeks. While I’m very proud of this recipe, and I think the hard cider makes for a perfect cooking liquid, feel free to simply take your favorite stew, or braised beef recipe, and swap in the pork cheeks instead.

Once everything’s in the pan, all you have to do is cook this until the meat is fork tender, and the sauce has thickened enough to coat the meat. Be careful not to use a too-salty broth, otherwise it may be too much once reduced. I really hope you give this cider-braised pork cheeks recipe a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
* I used 6, but the amounts will work with 8, and give you 4 portions)
8 large pork cheeks (about 2 pounds)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
flour as needed
2 tablespoon clarified butter
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 cups hard cider
2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon finely chopped sage leaves
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 small carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced

Note: if you want extra sauce, you can add an extra tablespoon of flour to the veggies when they are sautéing. Then add an extra cup of cider and broth, and proceed as shown.


Billy MacKenzie said...

Do you have a line on where I can order that Hard cider? Around here they only carry Alexander Keith's, which I'm sure would be like using Nestle's Lemonade in place of freshly juiced lemon.

not_my_actual_name said...

Nice Caddyshack reference around 3:39.

arwiv said...

I dont even need to physically taste this to already know that it tastes amazing. One of my biggest gripes about living in the sticks of west jersey is that there isnt an actual butcher within 30-40 minutes of where I live (ive checked). I could only imagine the looks Id get from the guys at my bogus shoprite meat department if I asked them if they could get me pork cheeks...about a year ago I asked them if they sold kidneys (wanted to make a steak and kidney pie) and they looked at me like I had 3 heads.

Chris K. said...

Nice Carl Spackler reference. Very cheeky of you.

DRC son said...

mo cheeks!

Linda said...

This sound delicious! What would be a good substitute if you can't get pork cheeks? Would chops be OK?

Yakuzalizard said...

Chef John...can I substitute beef cheeks for pork cheeks?

Ngan Bakes said...

awww yummy. Thank you so much for the recipe

Unknown said...

Chef John, I love your blog but sometimes wish you would also type up the instructions instead of just leaving them in the video. I save all the recipes I want to try to my tablet to have handy while I'm cooking so I like to read the recipe a couple times before cooking and having to watch the video over and over makes it difficult. I am going to try this next week though!

Unknown said...

Nice recipe! Yummy! Tried out at home..was wonderful! Keep sharing :)

Unknown said...

I’ll bet this would work with pork shanks! Good Grief, no cayenne!? Thanks for many wonderful and entertaining videos and directions can sometimes be found for Chef John recipes on the allrecipes.com website.