Saturday, 2 October 2010

The cheek of it!

It is very unusual for me to try a new cut of meat, mainly because I am a curious and greedy eater and have had a stab at most things, with the exception of tripe which I really don't fancy. However, one of the latest "trendy" cheap cuts being lauded everywhere are pigs' cheeks.

I had seen this recipe from Diana Henry's new book in a recent Daily Mail feature, and I was tempted to try it the next time, or indeed if at any time, I saw these on a butcher's counter.

My friends at Waitrose obliged yesterday. And how. 7 pigs' cheeks came in at the princely sum of £1.64, and they weren't even Reduced To Clear. I was already impressed.

Lentils are a no go-area in this house. Chris won't try them because he had them once during the war, or some such nonsense. I prefer my mother's refusal to eat them. She was torpedoed coming back from Singapore at the beginning of World War 2 and spent some time in a POW camp where lentils were almost the only food available. She is not a fussy eater at all but cannot look a lentil in the eye, let alone eat one.

I varied the recipe slightly. The floured cheeks were fried with chopped celery and onion and then cooked very slowly in dry cider in the oven for 2 hours. I then added cream and Dijon mustard, reduced it a little and served it with pappardelle and peas.

A real triumph. They were gloriously moist and tender, a bit like a piggy version of shin of beef. Lovely, lovely, lovely.

But I bet they'd be even better with Puy lentils.


  1. Yum, I'll have to see if my Waitrose has any. That looks great and might work well in the slow cooker.

  2. I imagine it would work really well Jenny. I went for a fairly light sauce (ok then beige) because I really wanted to test the flavour of the meat. It really was lovely and I shall use it as my pig of choice in any other pork casseroles I make.