Braised pig’s cheeks with caramelised leeks

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Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 4

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

12 pig’s cheeks (cushion part only, not whole cheeks, from Waitrose or good butchers)
2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and black pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large onions, finely sliced
2 leeks, finely chopped
Knob of unsalted butter
5 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp runny honey
200ml white wine
200ml chicken stock
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
100ml double cream

Method

1. Dust the pig’s cheeks in the seasoned flour. Heat half the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole with a tight-fitting lid. Add the pig’s cheeks and cook over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes each side until browned. Remove and set aside.

2. Gently fry the onion and leek in the remaining oil and the butter for 20 minutes until soft. Add the herbs and honey and cook over a medium heat until the veg is sticky and golden brown. Return the meat. Pour in the wine and stock. Season and bring to a boil. Cover with the lid. Simmer over a low heat for 2½ hours until tender.

3. Remove the cheeks, set aside and keep warm. Bring the sauce to the boil, add the mustard and cream and bubble for 5-10 minutes until you have a rich, golden sauce. Return the pig’s cheeks to the casserole to warm through, then serve immediately.

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