Braised and Barbequed Pork Cheeks, with Medlar Jelly

Braised and Barbequed Pork Cheeks, with Medlar Jelly
Braised and Barbequed Pork Cheeks, with Medlar Jelly

ChefKevin Snook

Ark of Taste Products – Berkshire Pig and Medlar

ProducersSheepdrove Organic Farm

Berkshire producer and chef come together in this recipe, celebrating two of our Ark of Taste products. Pig cheeks, quite rightly, are making a bit of a comeback, due to their relatively low cost and fantastic flavour. Kevin here twice cooks the cheeks, first braising in cider before finishing on the barbecue for a crispy, smokey finish.

Method:

Medlar Jelly

– Once the Medlars have been harvested and washed allow them to dry and soften on a wire rack in a cool area. This process is called Bletting. When they are ready, they become soft to the touch.

– Quarter the unpeeled Medlars and cooking apple, and place into a large pot with the lemon half.

– Add 2 quarts (2.2 Litres) of water and heat gently to a light boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes / 1 hour.

– Strain overnight through a cheesecloth allowing it to drain naturally. Do not apply pressure or squeeze the bag as the jelly will go cloudy.

– Measure the juice (it should yield about a quart / just over a litre) and add the sugar, amending the amount to suit the quantity of juice. On a gentle heat, melt the sugar. Increase the heat and cook until the mix reaches 104°C / 220°F.

– Add an additional splash of lemon juice if you wish to offset the sweetness.

– Reserve until ready to use or transfer to sterilised jars.

Pork Cheeks

– Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix well.

– Transfer to a braising pan and cover.

– Put into preheated oven for 4 hours at 80°C / 170°F. Allow to cool slightly.

– Carefully remove the cheeks, pat dry and set aside.

– Strain the cooking liquor and reduce over the heat until it thickens a little, enough to coat the back of a spoon.

– Meanwhile, pre-heat your barbeque to a high heat – I prefer to use the Green Egg Barbeque over charcoal.

– Brush the cheeks with a little oil and place on the barbeque.

– Allow the surface to caramelise and brown then turn them over (about two minutes).

– Reduce the heat a little and brush the cheeks with the reserved cooking liquor.

– Close the lid allowing the flavours to merge into the cheeks – this takes an additional 2-3 minutes – keeping them moist with a crispy exterior.

 

Serving:

Serve family style on a platter with the Heritage Medlar Jelly and preferred seasonal vegetables to accompany.

Ingredients – serves 4

Braised Pig Cheeks

8 Prepared Sheepdrove Farm Pork Cheeks

1 Bottle of Local Cider

1 Fresh sprig of Rosemary

2 Garlic Cloves, peeled and cut in half

1 Star Anise

1 tsp Coriander Seeds

2 Small Onions, peeled and roughly chopped

4 Small Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

6 tbsp Bourbon Maple Syrup

1 tbsp Sea Salt

½ tbsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Medlar Jelly

1.4kg (3lbs) Medlars

1 Small Cooking Apple

½ Lemon

500g Sugar

JOIN US!

Slow Food in the UK relies on your memberships to keep going - join up now to support Slow Food in your area... find out more

STAY INFORMED!

Sign up to our newsletter to receive regular updates from Slow Food UK here.