I love what AA Gill said in last Sunday’s Sunday Times Style magazine: “Just buy food raw, on the bone, with a head, with slime, with eyes, with fur, with mud, blood and paws. Buy it with roots and scales and spines and pips and shells.” (You can read the full article here). Cook from scratch, pull things out of the ground, use up every last piece of food that you have. Open your mind too – try, for example, cuts of meat you wouldn’t normally eat.
I’m not going to beat myself up about having cheap chicken nuggets for lunch today (I was babysitting, I had what they had – the only thing they would eat. Aaargh! No, the guilt won’t go away), but I am going to try, try, to make more mindful food choices in future. Better to eat pig’s cheeks or tail than said unidentified nuggets. Yawn – offal has been en vogue for ages: but are you making it? Ergo, a pig’s cheek recipe for you to try.
- 6 pigs cheeks (make friends with your butcher, he will help you)
- Some flour
- An onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 large bay leaf
- 750ml of cider
- 1 litre of chicken stock – put in as needed
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- A little butter or cream
This is a really simple braised dish, but I would recommend Trish Deseine or Stephane Reynaud for fancier braised dishes. This is a good one to start with. Dip the cheeks in seasoned flour, brown them, add the onion and garlic, bay leaf, then the cider and stock. You can substitute the cider for white wine, and add more liquid stock if it seems to be running low. Simmer on a low for 2-3 hours until the meat flakes to the touch, then just before you serve it, add a little cream or cold butter at the very end. You can serve this with some pasta with a knob of butter, some mash, or my old trusty favourite, crusty bread.
Let me know how you get on!