2 Pork Cheeks ( about 2 lb. ea.) trimmed of the extra thick fat layer
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
8 baby Carrots chopped
1 Stalk Celery chopped
1 Whole Onion chopped
3 Cloves fresh garlic
3 c. Red Wine
3 c. Beef Broth
2 Bay Leaves
4 Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Tbsp. fresh Tarragon – chopped
2 Tbsp. Fresh Marjoram Leaves – chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Large Fresh Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped
Cut the thick fat layer off the pork cheeks with a sharp knife or ask your butcher to do it. Discard the fat layer. (See fat layer on left in photo)
Make a rub of: a pinch of Cayenne Pepper, 2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar, Salt and Black Pepper. Mix and rub all over the pork cheeks. Refrigerate the cheeks for 2 hours.
Brown the cheeks in the olive oil on both sides. Remove from the pot and set aside.
In the same pot, cook the chopped vegetables a few minutes to get started. (If using a slow cooker, now is the time to transfer the vegetables to it and proceed with the following instructions from there – Low and slow for about 8 hours)
Add the meat back to the pan on top of the vegetables.
Add the wine, stock, and herbs to the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and cook 2 1/2-3 hours on top of the stove until “falling apart tender”. At the 1 1/2 hour mark turn the cheeks over. During the cooking process, if you find you need more liquid, add more broth.
When finished, remove the Bay Leaves and Thyme sprigs.
Depending on your taste, you can serve them whole or remove the little meaty medallions and perch them on a bed of whatever you choose like they do in the restaurants. (See first photo) You can also slice them and serve them that way. See here:
If serving with Butternut Squash, toss the chopped squash with a little olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 400 degrees about 30 minutes or more until it reaches desired tenderness.
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