Pigs Cheeks in Pork Pastry

11 September 2006
Pigs Cheeks in Pork Pastry


6 whole pork cheeks
1kg duck or pork fat
750g shortcrust pastry
Beaten egg
1 small onion
1 carrot
1 leek
1 bay leaf
2 cloves
Black peppercorns
6 juniper berries
Dozen parsley stalks
1 litre veal stock
1 litre red wine
60g tomato concentrate
500g button mushrooms
500g silver skinned onions
6 slices of cooked polenta
Truffle oil
Pork crackling


A pork cheek has a chunky muscle of meat and a thinner strip of covering skin fat and flesh. Separate the outer flap from the chunky muscle. Roughly chop the chaps. Put them in 1kg of melted duck or pork fat and bake at a very low temperature in the oven for 11/2 hours. Remove from fat cool and strip away the skin and fat but keep the strands of meat. Fork them through so they become like spaghetti. Reserve.

For each portion roll out a strip of shortcrust pastry (approximately 120g) to 20cm by 10cm and brush with beaten egg. Arrange the strands of meat horizontally across the pastry then coil the whole thing around a cylinder. Rest for 30 minutes in the fridge. Bake for 15 minutes at 200íC until golden brown.

Sauté the six reserved chunks of meat with a mirepoix of onion carrot and leek. Add bay leaf cloves peppercorns crushed juniper berries and parsley stalks. Pour over the stock and red wine. Add the remaining ingredients season and simmer for 11/2 hours until tender.

Remove the meat from the liquid and keep hot. Reduce the liquid almost to a glaze. Put a little truffle oil on the polenta.

Put a slice of polenta in the centre of the plate with the pastry case around it. Put the chunk of meat into the pastry case. Decorate with button mushrooms silverskin onions and pork crackling. Pour a little reduced sauce around the meat.

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