Ultra tender braised pork cheeks in wine sauce with shallots on a bed of mashed potatoes, a tasty tapa or main dish recipe coming straight from Spain.

Braised pork cheeks in wine sauce is a delicate yet powerful dish although the meat is so tender and melts on your tongue the flavor is outstanding. I’ve encountered this dish on a tapas night out in San Sebastian, Spain. Lost in a dark corner of a little plaza, in a place called “La cuchara de San Telmo“, a divine place! It’s their star dish, they don’t even have to write it down on the menu board anymore.. since it’s so popular. It was served as tapas, which means a small portion. It was so good … we add to order a second time. This recipe is my take on this famous dish called Carrilleras de cerdo al vino tapa! Simply divine!

Pork cheeks a treasure!

The trick here is to cook slow and long your pork cheeks! The pork cheek is so underrated, it should be the most expensive and exquisite piece of pork but lucky for our wallets it’s not… Cheeks got all the flavour and it’s relatively a lean part. Its secret? The collagen! Which is a flavour bomb and if cooked properly, gets so tender. Any piece of meat with lots of collagen, like ribs for example, needs a long and slow cooking process in order for the collagen to turn into this tender gelatine (jelly). Once that process is done, your meat will melt like butter on your tongue. A true pleasure!

Tender braised pork cheeks in wine sauce

The red wine sauce / gravy

Tips for a perfect, deep brown gravy sauce made from scratch: Chocolate! Yeah! you’ve heard me: CHOCOLATE! It’s a hidden secrets of Grands chefs… You just need a tiny bit in the end of cooking your sauce with a touch of butter to give extra shine and texture and voila! You get an unctuous, satiny, deep brown sauce for your pork cheeks!

Let’s do some Tapas!


Tender Braised Pork Cheek in Red Wine Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Total Time 3 hours
Servings 4 people
Calories 626
Ultra tender braised pork cheeks in wine sauce with shallots on a bed of mashed potatoes, a tasty tapa or main dish recipe coming straight from Spain.

Ingredients

The pork cheeks

  • 4 pork cheeks (with bone if possible)
  • 400 ml chicken broth
  • 375 ml red wine
  • 150 g shallots (peeled but whole)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate (or cornstarch)
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 bouquet garni (or 1 tbsp of thyme)

The mashed potatoes

  • 3 big potatoes
  • 500 ml warm milk
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 tsp nutmeg (*optional)
  • salt and pepper

Instructions 

  • Cut of the white membrane on top of the pork cheeks… if any, and add salt, pepper to the cheeks (keep the bone if possible)
  • In a pan, or casserole, sear the pieces in olive oil, until brown on each side (deglazed with the wine, then add to the oven pot, to take all the flavours from the pan)
  • Transfer the cheeks into an oven proof container or casserole and add the bouquet garni, shallots, wine and broth.
  • Cook at 170°C (320F) for 2-2 1/2 hours, turn mid-time, keep the meat moist by once in a while pouring some of the bottom sauce on the cheeks
  • Cook the potatoes in boiling water 25 minutes before the end of the meat
  • When the cheeks are cooked, reserve them with the shallots, covered
  • Pass through a sieve the juice left into a pan, reduce the sauce until nice creamy texture
  • Mash the peeled potatoes with the milk, olive oil, nutmed, salt and pepper
  • Add the thickener; dark chocolate or the cornstarch mixed with 3 tbsp of cold water
  • Reduce until the sauce slightly stick to the back of a spoon
  • Add butter, let it melt gently
  • Take the bone off the pieces of meat (it should come right off)
  • Serve the meat on top of the mashed potatoes, add a few shallots and cover with wine sauce.

Notes

These cheeks are not so big, don’t expect a steak, if you are a big eater, calculate 2 cheeks.
If you have extra sauce, freeze it in an ice cube trey, can be kept 5 month in the freezer. A really useful idea to enhance any dish. (pasta, rice, soups, etc)
Author: thefoodolic
Calories: 626kcal
Course: Plato principal
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: braised, pork cheeks, slow cooking, wine sauce

Nutrition

Calories: 626kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 38g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 23g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 463mg | Potassium: 1218mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 590IU | Vitamin C: 37mg | Calcium: 279mg | Iron: 6mg
Nutrition Facts
Tender Braised Pork Cheek in Red Wine Sauce
Amount per Serving
Calories
626
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
38
g
58
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Trans Fat
 
0.1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
4
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
23
g
Cholesterol
 
26
mg
9
%
Sodium
 
463
mg
20
%
Potassium
 
1218
mg
35
%
Carbohydrates
 
47
g
16
%
Fiber
 
7
g
29
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
10
g
20
%
Vitamin A
 
590
IU
12
%
Vitamin C
 
37
mg
45
%
Calcium
 
279
mg
28
%
Iron
 
6
mg
33
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Tender braised pork cheeks in wine sauce

2 Comments

  1. Hey man! The recipe looks delicious. What wine would you recommend braising in? A rioja?

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