Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Cheek to Cheek

It may not really be the weather for it (yes, there has been sunshine in the North, Peridot!), but we had a delicious stew for tea last night from a recipe by Mark Hix. Pork cheeks, slow cooked with chorizo until they were on the verge of disintegrating entirely into the port enriched gravy, then served with a glossy sprinkle of broad beans which had been tossed in a little butter. The original recipe is here if you are interested; I tinkered with it a little to make it a little more WW friendly and more suitable for the slow cooker I was planning to use.

The point of the post is, though, have you cooked pork cheeks yet? And if not, why not? Once you finished reading this, get yourself down to the Waitrose meat counter, or indeed, your local butcher (should you be so fortunate as to have one) and acquire some. And yes, I am being bossy – but I promise you’ll thank me for it. Unlike other cuts of meat which have been proclaimed cheap by “sleb” chefs (which causes everyone goes out and buys them so that the price rockets), pork cheeks are genuinely, rock bottomely cheap. A couple of your English pounds will get you plenty enough for four portions.

Pork cheeks benefit from long, slow cooking - treat them with a bit of care and languor and the meat will be gloriously tender. As I mentioned, I used my slow cooker – eightish hours on the low setting and they were perfect. But equally, we have cooked them in the oven for a few hours which worked perfectly well. And in terms of Weight Watchers, I reckon (from information garnered on t’Internet) they are about 3 pro points per 100g raw meat – which is roughly the same as pork shoulder. Not at all bad. I’m currently thinking they would work well in a curry (vindaloo is, I believe, traditionally made with pork) or perhaps with some Chinese style spicing…yep, I definitely feel a trip to Waitrose coming on…

1 comment:

  1. Have you tried beef cheeks? I hear good things but I feel a bit illogically squeamish!

    And I don't believe you about the weather. Yesterday I was in Northumbria (went through York on the train from Newcastle to London) and I am amazed I don't have hypothermia. I definitely turned blue.