What are pigs for in business?

Prepare braised pork cheeks perfectly - step by step

In addition to veal and ox cheeks, pork cheeks are also a real treat for meat connoisseurs. Properly prepared, they reveal their true potential and can easily keep up with the supposedly noble pieces of meat. We know how much taste there is in the rather unknown cheeks and have therefore created the ideal recipe for you.

For more appreciation of the whole animal

A pig doesn't just consist of fillet, schnitzel and chops. But most of the other pieces are generally punished as "ignoble" and so often do not even get a chance to end up in the meat display. They have long been popular with chefs and small butchers. The trend is back towards the appreciation of the whole animal and away from the mass-produced piece of meat. Pig's head, blood, innards and pig skin - viewed by most with disgust and disgust, can result in true culinary masterpieces that bring variety to the plate. Even if the principle is not as new as it seems. In the post-war period, no one would have given thought to spurning even a single part of the animal. Everything was simply recycled. Only with the arrival of prosperity did the so-called precious parts, which tended to be lean, gain the upper hand. So let's turn to the hugely underrated pork cheeks.

Pork cheeks: the perfect braised meat

Firm meat and a high proportion of connective tissue are the key to an all-round successful stew. And that although the tender - technically speaking - cheeks are part of the innards. This is also the reason why they only ended up in the slaughterhouse for a long time or were cooked together with the rest of the pork head to make pressed sausage and brawn. You can read about the background to braising and the process of converting collagen into gelatine here.

Compared to the larger beef cheeks, pork cheeks have a significantly shorter cooking time. Nevertheless, they are at least as tender as butter. When cooking, the temperatures should remain in the range of 100 ° to a maximum of 140 ° C - the cooking time of several hours means that no more heat is required. So you are on the safe side and at no time do you run the risk of the meat drying out. The sous vide method is also suitable for all types of cheeks - only the preparation time is then extended by even lower temperatures in the range of 70 degrees.

Where can I get pork cheeks from?

First of all: You can get the very best pork cheeks on the Fleischglück marketplace - this is where you get the Iberico cheeks. An absolute dream. Since every animal only got two cheeks from Mother Nature, you should take care of your shopping in good time. Once again, it is advisable to go to the butcher you trust. Because hardly any conventional supplier has these rather unusual pieces in their range. Another advantage: You save yourself the rather time-consuming parrying. For inexperienced hands, this manual process is a rather delicate matter, given the modest size of the pork cheeks. In order not to take the risk of defacing the beautiful pieces while trying to remove fat and tendons, you should rely on the work of a specialist. Once you've got hold of pork cheeks, you'll notice that this cut is a real bargain: Little demand always means low prices. Another argument to take the meat from a really well-kept pig, because even then the cheeks remain a price hit.

Important: pay attention to the incision

When buying, attention should be paid to the incision on each individual piece. This guarantees a proper meat inspection to ensure that no tapeworm larvae (the so-called fins) have nested in the meat. If you are unsure - just ask the butcher, he can explain all the details to you. Depending on the depth of the cut, it is advisable to tie the cheeks together before searing to prevent them from drying out. The same also applies to veal and ox cheeks.

Pork cheeks: Almost better if warmed up

Stews are ideal for pre-cooking and reheating. What would be a real disgrace with other dishes is definitely beneficial for the aroma and intensity. Because the hearty autumn and winter recipes only become smoother and more intense after a longer standing time. In addition, you save yourself a lot of stress in the kitchen if you can do most of the work the day before and then relax and devote yourself to your guests at dinner.

Essential for dreamy pork cheeks are:

The perfect pork cheeks

Properly prepared you don't need a knife anymore - they almost disintegrate by themselves.
Preparation time 2d20min.

ingredients

  • 8 Pork cheeks
  • 300ml Madeira
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • sea-salt
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 500ml beef broth
  • 2EL honey
  • 1TL tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon of butter lard
  • 8 shallots
  • 3 tablespoons of butter lard
  • 1 tbsp flour

Instructions

  • Place the cheeks in Madeira for 1-2 days with salt, bay leaves and peppercorns.
  • On the day of preparation, peel the vegetables, cut into small cubes and slices - put aside.
  • Remove the cheeks from the stock, dust with flour and fry in clarified butter.
  • Add the vegetables, honey and tomato paste to lightly toast everything.
  • Deglaze with the Madeira stock, let it reduce for 3-4 minutes and add the stock.
  • Cover the cheeks and let them stew in the liquid for 2 hours.
  • In the meantime, peel the remaining shallots, cut into rings and dust with flour.
  • Heat the clarified butter in a pan and fry the shallot rings until golden brown and drain on kitchen paper.
  • Finally, remove the cheeks from the liquid and bring the sauce to the boil again for 10 minutes to reduce it.