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Sustainable slow-cooked Dingley Dell pork cheeks with quinoa

26 April 2013
Sustainable slow-cooked Dingley Dell pork cheeks with quinoa

Ingredients
(Serves three)
For the pork cheeks
6 large pork cheeks
4 crushed cloves of garlic
1 bayleaf (fresh if possible)
3 shallots, whole and peeled
Sprig of sage
1tsp smoked paprika
Zest and juice of 1 orange
1 x Kent apple, cored, peeled and chopped into 1in pieces
3tbs British rapeseed oil
1tsp salt
1tbs flour
50g smoked British bacon lardons
1tbs tomato purée
1.25l light stock (preferably chicken)
1tbs sherry vinegar

For the quinoa 90g quinoa
200ml fresh carrot or beetroot juice
Mixed seasonal British leaves/perpetual spinach/chard/foraged seasonal ingredients
Seasoning
1tbs British extra virgin rapeseed olive
Juice of half a lemon

Method
For the pork cheeks, preheat the oven to 140°C. Wash the cheeks in cold water, pat dry on disposable paper and trim off any sinew on the outside.

In a thick-bottomed casserole/pot with lid heat the rapeseed oil and fry the whole shallots until golden, add the bacon lardons, caramelise and remove to one side.

While the pan is still hot, season the pork cheeks with salt, mix the flour and smoked paprika together and dust the pork cheeks with the flour mix. Colour the cheeks quickly in the pan until golden brown. Return the shallots and bacon lardons to the pan and add the sage, orange zest, garlic, bay leaf and chopped apple, and cook for one minute. Then add the tomato purée and cook out for another two minutes.

Add the chicken stock and bring the cheeks to a slow simmer. Skim off any fat that comes to the surface, re-season and place a lid on the casserole dish or pot and place in the preheated oven for 2-3 hours.

The pork cheeks are ready when they are soft but not falling apart. Remove the shallots and drain the cooking liquor through a sieve.

In a saucepan heat and reduce the sherry vinegar and orange juice until it has almost disappeared (not burnt caramel, which happens very quickly) then pour on the cooking liquor and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Taste for seasoning and return the cheeks into the sauce.

For the quinoa, bring the carrot juice and quinoa together with seasoning to simmer and cook until soft. Drain in a sieve, return to pan, while still hot and add the leaves, oil, lemon juice and season to taste.

This week's recipe was devised by Matt Hay, chef director, BaxterStorey, to coincide with World Earth Day (22 April)

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Xavier Rousset is co-owner of Texture and 28°-50°, in London

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