Pork cheek chilli

Time for another pork cheek recipe I feel! This time I have used it in a chilli which has a delicate balance between smoky and spicy flavours and the tender pork. Yet again, it’s all about low and slow cooking so don’t rush this!

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Ingredients- serves 4
4 pork cheeks- trimmed and cut into inch pieces
1 large onion- chopped
2 garlic cloves- crushed
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 dried ancho chillies
2-3 dried arbol chillies
1 tin of kidney beans
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
600ml chicken or vegetable stock
1 tbsp treacle

1. Start by preheating the oven to 160c/ 140 fan. Take a glug of oil in a large heavy casserole pan and brown off the pork cheeks for a few minutes before setting aside. Next up, fry the onion and garlic together until softened and about to turn golden.

2. Combine the coriander, cumin, oregano, cayenne and paprika and add to the onions. Cook together for a couple of minutes before returning the pork to the pan and coating it in the spice mix. At the stage I prick the dried chillies and pop them in the pan too. The ancho chillies bring smokiness to the chilli alongside the paprika and the arbol give it a kick! Add the kidney beans, making sure they too are well coated, before the tomaotes and stock goes in. I tend to put half of the stock in at this stage and reserve the rest for during cooking if it needs a bit of extra moisture. In goes the treacle to add a great depth of flavour alongside the savoury chillies.

3. Bring the chilli to the boil on the hob before placing in the oven for 2 1/2- 3 hours until the cheeks are tender and the sauce is thick and unctuous. Check the pork every now and again as it cooks and add extra stock if needed. Finish with some roughly chopped coriander leaves, serve with rice and dig right in!

A cheeky chilli fit for every table!

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Ultimate slow cooked pork cheek ragu

Pork cheek is an inexpensive and underused cut of meat which really should be on our menus more often. When cooked low and slow the meat simply melts in your mouth. This ragu is rich and intense and is sure to please.

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Ingredients- serves 2-3
4 pork cheeks- trimmed and cut into inch chunks
1 tbsp oil
1 onion- chopped
1 garlic clove- crushed or finely chopped
1 celery stick- finely chopped
1 small carrot- finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2-3 anchovy fillets
60ml red wine
200ml beef stock
400ml chopped tinned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 140c/120 fan. Start by heating the oil over a medium/high heat and brown off the pork chunks. Make sure you brown them well all over to make a rich, dark ragu. When ready, remove from the pan and set aside.

2. Next up goes the onion to soften for a couple of minutes before adding the garlic, celery and carrot for another couple of minutes. Stir through the tomato puree and anchovy fillets and make sure the mix is well coated. Pop in the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by half.

3. Add in the stock and tomatoes as well as the bay and thyme. In go the pork cheeks and bring the sauce up to a gentle boil before popping in the preheated oven for 2 1/2- 3 hours. When the ragu is ready the pork cheeks should feel soft to the touch. Serve with pasta, such as rigatoni, tortiglioni, pappardelle, or polenta and dive straight in!

Indulgent, rich pork cheek ragu- worth the time to discover a new cut!