Pig Cheeks are such a cheap cut of meat but they taste so delicious. I think the best way to cook them is in a stew. Pork, cider and sage are a marriage made in heaven. I also love a dumpling and think they work really well with the melt in the mouth pork and delicious gravy. This is an easy recipe and is great as you can leave it in the oven cooking.
Ingredients (serves 4)
For pork casserole
- 8 pork cheeks
- sea salt and fresh black pepper
- handful of plain flour
- knob of butter
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 500ml bottle of apple cider
- 400ml chicken or pork stock
- 2 tsp rosemary, leaves only finely chopped
- 2 tsp sage, finely chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and diced
- 2 carrots, sliced
For the thyme dumplings
- 100g self raising flour
- 50g vegetable suet
- pinch of salt
- 5 tbsp of old water
- 1 tbsp rosemary
- Season both sides of pork cheeks with salt and pepper. Add flour to a sealable bag. Add the cheeks 4 at a time and shake to coat. Repeat with the next 4.
- Heat a knob of butter in a casserole pot over medium-high heat. Brown cheeks on both sides. When cheeks are browned, reduce heat to medium. Transfer cheeks to a plate to rest.
- Remove all but a tbsp of fat from the pan. Add the chopped onions and carrots to the pan. Cook and stir until softened and sweet. Add the vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Pour in the cider and pork stock. Bring to a simmer. Add sage and rosemary. Reduce heat to low and transfer cheeks back to pan. Cover with lid. Cook for 2 hours and remove from oven.
- Make the dumplings by adding all of the ingredients into a bowl. Mix to combine and then shape into 8 balls. Add to the casserole and put back in the oven for 30 mins.
- Once cooked remove the cheeks and dumplings and set aside.
- Bring liquid to a boil over a high heat, skimming off fat as it rises to the surface. Reduce volume of liquid by about 60 to 70%. Sauce will start to thicken up. Taste for salt and season as needed. Transfer cheeks and dumplings back to liquid. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until cheeks and dumplings are heated through and tender and sauce is thick enough to coat cheeks.