So I did an impulse buy at my local butcher shop. I haven't eaten them but rarely do I see pork cheeks for sale. Without thinking, I bought a pound and stuffed them in the freezer for another time. And couple months went by (I actually had forgotten that I bought them) and I finally decided to cook with them. I randomly saw this video of Jamie Oliver cooking beans served with pork and that's how I came up with this idea. This is a great dish, you can eat it as is or on toast or over rice or add extra stock for soup. Oh the possibilities!
-------------------------------------------- 1lb pork cheek 1 red onion (roughly chopped) 1/2 cup lentils 1 cup beans (if dried beans, soak overnight and rinse) Handful of thyme 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and lightly mashed) Hard cider (I used a 16 oz can of Crispin cider and it was the perfect amount) Salt and pepper 3 tablespoons of butter Parmesan cheese Handful of parsley Olive oil Hot sauce and whole grain mustard (optional) Bread
1. Preheat a 300 degree oven 2. Add oil to a hot pan and brown the cheeks, both sides 3. Put the beans, lentils, onions, garlic into a roasting pan and season with salt + pepper 4. Place the cheeks on top of the beans/lentils and add the thyme 5. Pour enough hard cider to just cover the cheeks 6. Cover with tin foil and jam it into the oven for 2.5 hours 7. After 2 hours, the cheeks should be nearly done 8. Take tin foil off and cook for another 30 minutes in the oven 9. After 30 minutes, take the pan out of the oven 10. To finish, mix in butter and grate about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (more if you like) 11. Mix and taste to check if it needs more salt + pepper or not 12. Assemble! 13. Get a slice of toast, spoon the pork cheek/beans/lentils onto toast 13. Drizzle hot sauce, olive oil, and desire amount of mustard 14. Grate parmesan and add parsley
Note: Of course if you have a Dutch oven, you can brown the cheeks and braise in the same pot. I don't so I had to brown them in a pan first before putting everything into a pan.