Blueberry pork cheek on a vinegar braised cabbage bed is such a long title for such a simple dish. The inspiration here was a concoction I found in “Tigidou” store on the Orleans Island by Quebec city; a blueberry maple concoction. I’ve build the dish around this delicious concoction.
Pork cheeks are such a tasty part and so tender when cooked for a while at low temperature. They are always juicy and filled with flavors and so easy to make. The problem is to find them in the store, so whether you know a kind butcher that doesn’t keep those gems to himself or are lucky enough to know a store where to get those low priced cuts.The cheeks are relatively a small amount of meat, so I suggest to calculate 2 cheeks per person for the house’s carnivores. If your butcher is asking you with or without the bone, I suggest to keep the bone, first; it helps give flavour to the sauce, second it comes right off at the end of coccion, third it helps to keep the piece of meat in a way better shape, but that last one is purely esthetic.
As for the cabbage, I’ve done a braised in cider vinegar white cabbage with a few caraway seeds to accompany the pork. The vinegar will caramelize the cabbage and give it a richer bite. I’m always searching ways to cut on carbs, so this way, you get plenty of cabbage to fill you up without an ounce of carbs in sight. Often those alternatives to gluten or carbs elements are too light and you end up not feeling satisfied in the end of the meal, but with this cabbage, you’ll be content after diner.
So let’s cook this gluten free / low carb dish!
Blueberry pork cheek on a vinegar braised cabbage bed
Makes 4 portions
The braised cheeks
- calculate 1 to 2 pork cheeks per person
- 750ml of chicken broth
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 laurel leave
- salt and pepper
The blueberry concoction
- 100g blueberries
- 50ml of maple syrup
The braised cabbage
- 1 white cabbage finely sliced
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 garlic clove chopped
- 100ml of chicken broth
- 30g butter
- 50ml of cider vinegar
- 1 tsp of caraway seeds
- salt and pepper
- Start by having some salt and pepper to the cheeks
- Add the olive oil to a deep enough skillet and sear the cheeks on both side, high heat
- Add the broth until the pork pieces are almost covert and bring to simmer
- Add the aromatics; laurel leave, pepper
- Let simmer gently for 2 hours, at low heat, turn them and scratch the bottom with a wooden spatula once in a while
- 30 minutes before the end of the cheeks coccion, start the braised cabbage, cook the onion, at medium-high heat in the butter until soften, about 5 minutes
- Add the garlic and the cabbage, the broth, the vinegar and the caraway seeds,
- Let cook at medium high heat, covered, until soften for 15 minutes
- Add the salt and pepper
- Let the liquid evaporate completely and caramelize lightly the cabbage, reserve
- Take out the cheeks from the broth, reserve with the warm cabbage, keep warm or covered
- Pass the leftover from the cheeks broth through a sieve and back on high heat to reduce until it covers lightly the back of a spoon, the larger the pan the faster it will be (about 5 minutes)
- Make the blueberry concoction by mixing the blueberries, the maple syrup and a touch of salt
- Take off the bones from the cheeks if any, it should come right off
- Serve the cheeks on a bed of the braised cabbage, add the sauce reduction and top with the blueberry concoction.