A pork chap is a pig cheek. They seem to be having a bit of a moment and you can buy them pre-packed in my local Morrisons. You can however buy just packs of pig skin in my local Morrisons. Either it is offal central in Kirkstall, or there are lots of trainee tattooists fuelling demand. It is good though. You can get 3 for 97p. I’m sure this isn’t actually very bargainous, but heigh ho, fuel the conglomerates we must!
This recipe I made up entirely out of all of my own head. I say this, because as I am reviewing the ingredients, it sounds … well, a bit weird. However I do know it was delicious. TRUFAX.
Here I am holding a pig cheek, next to my cheek. Whatever will I think of next?
This was another piece of slow cooker magic. Slow cookers are magic. Everybody needs one! You can even bake in them!
Ingredients: 6 pork cheeks, 4 tbsp flour, 2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp sugar, knob of butter, half tsp nutmeg, 2 chopped carrots, 2 sticks chopped celery, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tbsp japonica jelly, half a pint of Lahloo Smoky tea (or another lapsang souchong) that has been brewing for at least 30 minutes, 100ml red wine.
- Brew your tea. I used 1 tbsp to a teapot and had a cup while I did the rest of the preparations.
- Mix flour, 2 tsp caraway and sugar in a bowl. Dip cheeks into mix so they are well covered.
- Melt butter in a frying pan, then fry the cheeks on each side for til they are sealed.
- Transfer all frying pan contents to slow cooker.
- Add vegetables and other ingredients to slow cooker, including any of the flour mixture that is left over. (Make sure the tea has brewed for long enough.)
- Cook on high for about five hours. The cheeks will just melt away into the sauce.
I also made apple dumplings to go on top. You follow the dumpling recipe on the suet packet, but add a chopped apple to the mix. You then put them in about an hour before you want to eat. So this was after 4 hours of cooking:
Looking back on this recipe, it seems I’ve brought up a few questions i.e. white wine with pork? a tea-based casserole? what is a japonica? why has the stew gone purple? veg in sticks not rounds in a stew? To you, I say, well I steal someone else’s words, whose I can’t quite remember, but, to you say “What is that? A rule? A convention? HIIIIIIIIIYAHHHHHHHH” *motion of karate chopping wood*
When you cook the face of an animal, you need to take some risks.