Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Pork Cheeks braised in Absinthe

New favourite. Still learning how to make this properly.


  1. 4 trimmed pig’s cheeks;
  2. 50 ml Absinthe;
  3. 30 ml Good quality white wine vinegar;
  4. 5 tbsp olive oil;
  5. 1 leek, finely sliced;
  6. 2 carrots cubed;
  7. 2-3 sticks celery, chopped;
  8. 1 onion, chopped;
  9. 2 cloves garlic, chopped;
  10. 1 bay leaf;
  11. 2 sprigs thyme;
  12. 1 tbsp tomato purée;
  13. 2 tbsp honey
  14. 750ml chicken stock
  15. 125ml white wine;
  16. Freshly ground salt and pepper


  • Marinate the meat in 2 tbsp olive oil, the Absinthe, vinegar and salt and pepper for at least 4 hours before cooking. The Absinthe gives a very distinct taste that may not be to everyone’s liking and could be replaced with e.g. vermouth or some other liquor;
  • Preheat the oven to 170C;
  • Heat the oil in a casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the leek, celery, carrot, onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, then add the bay leaf, thyme, and tomato purée. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the honey and cook for a further 5 minutes to caramelise;
  • Add pig’s cheeks, stir well and cook for 3-4 minutes to coat and colour. Add the stock and wine. Bring to the boil, season, then cover and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 2 ½ - 3 hours;Remove from the oven, lift the cheeks from the stock and reserve. Strain the stock and place in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to the boil and allow the mixture to reduce in volume by half;
  • For an extra savoury sauce wiz the strained vegetables (less herbs) in a food processor until smooth and add back to sauce until desired consistency is achieved;

Serve with creamy mash or parsnip puree and your selection of vegetables. Last weekend this was the filling for the best pasta parcels I’ve ever had.

1 comment:

David Richter said...

Glad you've recollected the recipe! Thanks for the compliment on the pasta parcels!!!