Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Pork Cheeks with Mushrooms in Rioja

Pork cheeks are an incredibly cheap cut of meat that do take a while to cook, but the results are absolutely wonderful. Slowly cooked, the meat will be tender and melt-in-the-mouth and they can be cooked in lots of different ways. 

Here I opted for Rioja and a selection of mushrooms which was really lovely. You can use any red wine but use a decent wine that you enjoy drinking and then have a glass with the meal. I served here with a jacket potato and kale.

The below is enough for two plus a little extra for the freezer or lunch.

Here's how:

  • 400g pork cheeks
  • 100g shallots
  • 150g celery sticks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 150g mushrooms (mixed varieties)
  • 2 glasses of wine
  • 1 pint chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf

Firstly pop the oven on at 180. 

Peel and halve the shallots and add to a frying pan with the olive oil. Peel and crush the garlic and add to the shallots and then finely slice the celery and again add to the pan. This will be the base for your casserole. 

Slice the mushrooms and add to the pan with the shallots, celery and garlic and allow to cook for a couple of minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

In the meantime place the flour into a bowl and season generously. Then pop the pork cheeks into the flour and turn around to ensure each part is coated with the flour.

Remove the shallot and mushroom mixture into a casserole dish, and set aside. And place the pork cheeks into the pan to brown. Once browned on all side, return the mushroom and shallot mixture to the pan and pour over 1 glass of Rioja. Allow to simmer down for two minutes then return to the casserole dish. Pour over the other glass of Rioja, the chicken stock, add the bay leaf and season once more.

Pot a lid onto the casserole dish or cover with foil and place into the oven for approximately 2.5-3 hours - checking every 30 minutes and giving a good stir.

Keep checking the meat, you know it's cooked well once it falls apart easily when touched with a fork.

Serve with your choice of accompaniments - enjoy!

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