Saturday, January 7

Crispy Pigs Cheeks

Now don't get all queasy on me here. Just think of pigs cheeks as a delicious forgotten cut of meat that is incredibly tasty and very, very economical. Waitrose were selling some free range beauties just before Christmas at £2.99 a kilo. Pigs cheeks are not fatty or gristly, in fact they are quite the opposite but like all non-prime cuts, they do take a bit more effort to cook - namely long slow braising.

These would make an excellent bar snack (in fact I might put these on at the pub next week) and being nugget like, I can see these going down quite well with long as you lie about what they actually are! I served mine with some home made piccalilli but they would go very well with chilli jam, tomato chutney or at a push, HP sauce.

Pigs cheeks - as many as you fancy
Plain flour
Beaten eggs - 2 or 3
Chicken stock - 1 litre
Some woody herbs such as thyme, bay and rosemary - a few sprigs of each
Salt and pepper
Oil for deep frying

Cover the pigs cheeks with chicken stock in a tight fitting pan with a lid. Poke in the herbs and season well. Simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours until very tender. You should be able to pull bits off a cheek with little effort - if not braise for another 30 mins. Allow the cheeks to cool in the stock then drain. Remove any membranes or obviously fat.

Toss in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Deep fry in batches at a medium heat - approx 170c until crispy, golden and reheated to the core. Open can of lager, put on an action movie and munch manly offally snack.

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