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This recipe is classed as intermediate

Rating 3.33 / 5 (3 votes)

Prep time:
10 min, plus overnight marinating
Cook time:
3 hrs 30 min

Good things come to those who wait, and Jean-Christophe Novelli's braised pig cheeks are slowly cooked to perfection


1. Marinate the pigs cheeks with the wine, port, vegetables, garlic, herbs and orange rind. Leave on one side overnight.

2. Drain the marinated cheeks and pat dry, reserving any marinade for the sauce. Dust the cheeks thoroughly with flour, shaking off any excess.

3. In a large oven-proof pan or casserole, heat the olive oil and fry the cheeks until browned all over. At the same time, bring the marinade to the boil in another pan, skimming if necessary.

4. Once the cheeks are browned, pour the marinade over them and cook on a low heat about 1 hour.

5. Preheat the oven to 150C/gas 2.

6. After 1 hour, pour the white stock into the pan, cover with a lid or foil and cook slowly in the oven for another 2-3 hours. You may want to check the meat with a fork after 2 hours, to make sure it's not drying out.

7. Remove the cheeks from the pan and keep hot. Pass the marinade through a fine sieve into a clean pan and cook down on a medium heat to a sauce-like consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

8. Serve the cheeks with spring onion mash, baby vegetables and the sauce.


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Latest Comment


Very nasty. I spent an age, and lots of cash, searching for white port and wish I hadn't bothered. The recipe calls for 4 pigs cheeks but I got a kilo from Waitrose which comprised 12. It also calls for 1 litre of wine and port and 1 litre of stock which makes far more sauce than required even for 12 cheeks, so with only 4 it would have been absurd.

The flavour is what is wrong - after slow cooking for 3-4 hours the orange peel gives a taste of marmalade to the sauce and with the sweetness given by the port, you might as well have used white wine and added a couple of tablespoons of marmalade, which no-one in their right mind would do. The cheeks are really tender and nice but with that bitter orange flavour they were spoiled.

Nobody (of 6 people I have offered it to) liked it and I felt I had been made a complete fool of. Use red port and leave out the orange peel and you might have a decent dish.

Next time I will use the Cider recipe.

ursulaK25697 ursulaK25697  Posted 05 Dec 2010 1:43 PM