Portion/Yield:Serves 2 for main course or 4 for a starter
Upfront and honestly this recipe is not for everyone. The cooking method is sous vide and the cut of meat is pigs cheeks. Pigs cheeks are packed with natural gelatine, and when cooked for a few hours they become soft, tender and incredibly moreish, this natural gelatine gives you the lip smacking goodness in this dish. Pigs cheeks are really good value for money as they are solid bits of meat with very little to trim, no fat and no bones, a bonus!
Ingredients & Method
- 450g pigs cheeks, about 8 in number
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 star anise
- Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
- 50ml freshly squeezed orange or pineapple juice
- 1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons Demerara sugar
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 200g fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced
Preheat the water bath to 80°C. Remove the skin from the pig’s cheeks; give them a rinse under cold running water and pat dry on kitchen paper.
Rub the salt in to the meat; place the meat in to a clean vacuum bag. Add the rest of the ingredients, seal the bag under hard vacuum .
Cook the cheeks at 80°C for 8 hours.
Transfer the contents of the bag in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a gentle simmer and reduce the sauce while bringing the meat to 75°C.
The sauce will form a thick sticky and shiny glaze.
Serve the sweet and sour pigs cheeks with rice noodles and steamed tender stem broccoli.
Oven Braising Method: Alternatively you can cook them in a casserole dish in the oven at 160°C for three hours using the same ingredients.
Food safety is very important therefore you should when cooking sous vide always follow the golden rules:
- Wear clean disposable gloves when preparing to cook sous vide.
- Use clean vacuum bags, and store the bags correctly. This should be in a clean, well ventilated cupboard in a clean airtight container. This ensures that no dust or other objects can get in contact with the bags.
- Use the best quality fresh raw ingredients.
- When cooling sous vide foods to be re-heated at a later stage, you must cool the foods as quick as possible in ice water.
- Re-heat sous vide foods to 75°C and over.