According to a report in the Guardian last year, the variety of intensive farms within the UK elevated by 7% from 2017 to February 2020 (and as a lot as 21% in Wales). That’s a chilling thought once we understand how heavy their impression is on biodiversity loss, environmental destruction and emissions. Which brings me on to cheeks. Yes, we have to eat much less meat general, however choosing cheaper cuts, significantly ones that create such melt-in-the-mouth outcomes, does imply that purchasing free-range or natural is extra of an choice.
Slow-cooked pork cheeks with star anise, orange and rosemary
This delightfully fragrant braise offers a nod to the east with its star anise, however the heady mixture of sherry, orange, garlic and rosemary reveals it nonetheless needs to bop the flamenco.
Prep 30 min
Cook 3 hr
12 pork cheeks
Salt and black pepper
6 tbsp natural rapeseed oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 giant leek, trimmed and sliced
2 heads fennel, robust outer layer discarded, the remaining lower into eighths via the stem
2 star anise
2 sprigs rosemary
5 garlic cloves, bashed and peeled
Rice flour or chickpea flour, for dusting
120ml oloroso sherry
Peel of 1 orange
500ml rooster inventory
Remove the pork cheeks from the fridge, lower away any extra fats with a pointy pair of scissors and season very generously throughout, then put aside to come back as much as room temperature.
In the meantime, heat half the oil in a heavy-based casserole set over a medium-high warmth and add the onion, leek, fennel, star anise and rosemary. Season nicely, flip the warmth all the way down to medium and prepare dinner for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and prepare dinner for an additional 5 to eight minutes, till the greens are smooth and candy. Scoop them out right into a bowl and put aside.
Put the remainder of the oil within the pan and flip up the warmth to excessive. Dust the cheeks in sufficient flour to coat, and brown half of them within the sizzling pan till golden on either side. Transfer to the bowl with the greens and repeat with the remaining cheeks, including extra oil if you should. When all of the cheeks are out of the recent pan, add the orange peel and chilli (if utilizing), and pour within the sherry to deglaze the pan. Add the inventory, return the cheeks and the greens to the pan, and carry to simmering level on a medium warmth.
Transfer the pan to an oven heated to 150C (130C fan)/300F/gasoline 2 and prepare dinner for 2 to a few hours, till the cheeks are so tender that they are often lower with a spoon. Taste to examine for seasoning, then serve with mashed potato, soy sauce and braised greens.
And for the remainder of the week …
With sufficient buttery mash, there will probably be leftovers right here. Shred the meat over a bowl of noodles, with or and not using a brothand with numerous shredded veg, to perk up any February night.