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Man Food With Mark Hix | Braised Pork Cheeks In Perry

Pork cheeks are an oft-overlooked cut, but they've got plenty to offer. Take Mark Hix's advice, and get braising.

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A few butchers and a couple of good supermarket chains are now selling pork cheeks. They’re a great cut as they have plenty of natural fat marbling, so the meat stays moist while slow cooking. If you can’t get your hands on cheeks, use pork from a single cut such as the shoulder or neck. And if you can’t find perry, cider will work just as well.

Braised Pork Cheeks In Perry (Serves 4)

INGREDIENTS

500-600g pork cheeks, cut into chunks or left whole

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

1tbsp vegetable oil

60g butter

50g flour, plus some for dusting

500ml perry

700ml chicken stock

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS

1 | Season and lightly flour the pork cheeks.
2 | Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the meat on a high heat for 2-3 minutes, browning on all sides, then drain on kitchen paper.
3 | Meanwhile, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan and gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft, add the flour and cook on a low heat for a minute, then add the perry and stock gradually to avoid lumps forming.
4 | Bring to the boil, add the pork cheeks, season and simmer gently for about an hour until the cheeks are tender.
5 | The sauce should be reduced and thick by now; if not, remove the cheeks and simmer the sauce until it’s thickened, then return the cheeks and serve in a warmed sharing dish or on individual plates