"Braised Pork Cheeks"
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Braised Pork Cheeks

Course: Main Course
Author: Adapted from Gordon Ramsay's Ultimate Cookery Course page 189


  • 2 kg pork cheeks I used 5
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 6 baby fennel bulbs thickly sliced
  • 1 stalk lemongrass bruised and split in half lengthwise
  • 2 garlic cloves lightly crushed
  • 5 mls cardamom pods crushed
  • 2.5 mls whole cloves
  • 2 star anise
  • 2.5 cm fresh root ginger thickly sliced
  • 15 mls olive oil
  • 125 mls white wine
  • 750 mls master stock


  • Preheat the oven to 160° Celsius

for the pork cheeks

  • Score the fat of the pork cheeks using a sharp knife
  • Place the pork cheeks into a cold roasting pan
  • Render the fat over a low heat for an hour
  • Remove from the pan and drain off the lard
  • Place back in the pan for another hour
  • Remove and set aside
  • Drain off the lard

for the lard

  • Place a coffee filter into a funnel
  • Place the funnel over a sterilized glass jar
  • Pour the lard into the funnel
  • Leave to cool before sealing and placing into the fridge

to braise

  • Season the skin of the pork cheeks
  • Pour the oil into the pan and increase the heat
  • When hot, add the fennel, lemongrass, garlic, cardamom, cloves, star anise, and ginger
  • Cook until you can smell the spices
  • Deglaze the pan with the white wine
  • Add the pork cheeks skin side up
  • Add the master stock making sure the skin is above the stock
  • Bring to a boil and then place into the oven and bake for an hour and 30 minutes
  • Remove the pan from the oven
  • Remove the pork cheeks and set aside to rest before serving

to keep the master stock

  • Remove the excess fat
  • Strain through a chinois and discard the aromatics
  • Bring to the boil and pour off some to serve with the pork cheeks
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes
  • Top up with water to 750mls and leave to cool
  • Freeze until needed