Meantime Yakima Red beer-braised Saddleback pork cheeks, creamed carrots and crispy potatoes

  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 15 minutes
Not yet rated

Adam Gray gets the very best from an under-appreciated cut of meat in this beer-braised pork cheek recipe. The beer's rich malts and aromatic hop flavours work to balance the richness of the Saddleback pork.

First published in 2015
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Pork cheeks

To cook the pork cheeks

  • 150ml of rapeseed oil
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh
  • 2l chicken stock
  • 1000ml of veal stock, brown

Creamed carrots

Onions and potatoes

To garnish


  • Blender
  • Fine strainer


Begin by marinating the pork cheeks. Combine the onion, carrot, garlic, apple and beer in a large sealable container. Add the pork cheeks, seal the container and place in the fridge to marinate overnight
Once ready, strain off and reserve the marinade, keeping the liquid and apple quarters in 1 bowl and the vegetables in another. Place a shallow, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Once hot, seal the marinated pork cheeks until lightly golden brown all over
  • 150ml of rapeseed oil
Remove the cheeks from the pan and place in a colander over a bowl to drain off any excess oil. Add the reserved vegetables to the same pan and cook until golden brown. Add the sage and bay, followed by the reserved marinade and apple quarters
  • 1 sprig of sage
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh
Bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and reduce by three quarters. Place the browned cheeks into a clean pan, then pour in the reduced liquid
Pour in the chicken and brown veal stock, then place the pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer for 2 1/2 - 3 hours
Meanwhile, place a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the butter. Once melted and foaming, add the sliced shallots and sweat for 2-3 minutes. Add the sliced carrots and continue to sweat for a further 4-5 minutes
Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes until the carrots are cooked through
  • 1000ml of chicken stock
Strain and reserve the cooking liquor. Transfer the cooked carrots and shallots to a blender, adding a dash of the reserved liquor, and blitz to form a smooth, thick purée. Pass through a fine sieve and season to taste with salt and white pepper. Return to a clean pan to reheat later
Once the pork cheeks are tender to the touch, remove from the stock and set aside in a shallow tray to cool
Pass the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a thick-bottomed saucepan and return to the stove. Bring to the boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and reduce to a gravy-like consistency. Keep warm until required
While the sauce is reducing, blanch the peeled button onions in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove and refresh in iced water. Once cool, cut in half and set aside
Add the diced potatoes to a saucepan of cold lightly salted water, bring to the boil for 1 minute and remove from the heat. Strain immediately and set aside
To finish the potatoes and onions, place a large frying pan over a high heat and add a good dash of rapeseed oil. Once hot, add the onions and potatoes and sauté until golden. Season with a little salt and pepper and set aside in a warm place
Once ready to serve, reheat the pork cheeks in the gravy and gently reheat the creamed carrots. Place 3 cheeks onto each plate, followed by the hot potatoes, onions and purée. Garnish with some chopped chives and serve immediately
First published in 2015

Adam Gray pulls off classic British flavours with grace, intelligence and admirable lightness of touch.

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