Sunday, 14 October 2007

Little Foodies Disastrous Pigs Cheek #2

I'm not going to be beaten by this. During our time spent in Spain over the Summer, Hubby had a delicious meal of pigs cheek. We all tried it, we all loved it. I didn't think to ask how it had been prepared or cooked. Being a cooking dish and not baking, I thought I'd easily be able to re-create it at home... WRONG! You may remember my first go with pigs cheeks didn't even make it to brining. Click here and read the third paragrah for my admission of what happened to the first lot of pigs cheeks I bought.. This second lot of pigs cheeks were very kindly brined by our butcher. I collected them on Wednesday and cooked them on Thursday (3 different styles). Here's what I did... At the end I'll tell you what I should have done!

Pigs Cheeks in Stones Ginger Wine (keeping with the British theme)
One whole very large onion (we used red) peeled and chopped
One carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
One parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
2 tablespoons of Garlic Olive Oil
2 Pigs Cheeks (brined and prepared by your butcher)
Pinch of mixed herbs
6 black peppercorns
1/3 bottle of Stones Ginger Wine
2 pints of boiling hot water

In a very large pan, gently fry the onions in oil for a few minutes until starting to colour, add the carrot and parsnip. Add the ginger wine and simmer for a couple of minutes.
Place the pigs cheeks on the top and add the mixed herbs, peppercorns and boiling water. Cover with a tight fitting lid. Let it bubble for a few minutes then place in a pre-heated oven (medium heat) for approximately 2 hours.

Pigs Cheek with Tomato and Herbs
Half a large onion peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
Half a carton of Sieved Tomatoes/Passata
11/2 pints of boiling water
Good pinch of mixed herbs (I used dried)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Few grinds of black pepper
1 Pigs Cheek (brined and prepared by your butcher)

In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic. Place the pigs cheek on top then pour in the passata and hot water. Add herbs and a few grinds of black pepper. Cover with a tight fitting lid and let it come to boil for a few minutes, then cook in a pre-heated (medium heat) oven for approximately 2 hours.

Pigs Cheek in Pedro Ximenez (an intensely sweet dessert wine / sherry)
Half a large onion peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup of Malaga Virgen Pedro Ximenez
2 pints of hot stock (I used chicken)
1 pigs cheek (brined and prepared by your butcher)
2 tablespoons of olive oil

In a large pan, fry the onion and garlic. Add the sweet wine/sherry and bring to boil. Place the pigs cheek on top then pour over the hot stock. Bring to boil for a few minutes. Cover with a tight fitting lid then cook in a pre-heated (medium heat) oven for approximately 2 hours.

My MISTAKE - I only rinsed the pigs cheeks. I should have steeped them in water and changed the water regularly to get rid of some of the salt from the brining process OR alternatively I should have boiled them in water and thrown that water away prior to cooking them. Hubby thinks we had salt poisoning as we both felt like 'you know what' the next day. That's a score of one all, he once made me a dish which, ever we talk about, usually starts with... "Do you remember the salty pork?" Let me tell you Hubby's salty pork has nothing on mine!

A little like my very hot cheat's tom yam soup, which I made for my in-laws once. Whenever they now have something really hot, the heat intensity is always compared to that tom yam soup with the usual response of.... "It's not as hot as Amanda's tom yam soup.' How come your cock ups are so much more memorable than the great things you achieve?

p.s. I hasten to add, the children didn't eat the pigs cheeks. I dread to think what it would have done to their systems. The next day I kept getting a terrible taste in my mouth, it felt like I'd been swimming in the sea, hit by a big wave and swallowed a lot of it.


MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Oh . . . I once let my chicken brine for 24 hours . . . we couldn't eat it.
Incredible what we can do! So sorry but threes charm!

Marie said...

Oh ugh, what an awful experience for you, but an important lesson learned no doubt that you shall never forget! I often need to learn my lessons the hard way it seems. The best thing about it though is I rarely, if ever, repeat my mistakes!!!

Cottage Smallholder said...

What a shame. We once cooked a joint that was so tough it was impossible to carve, let alone eat. This is our benchmark for toughness!

Kelly-Jane said...

I commented last night, but the computer went a bit funny, so it must have been lost.

I'm glad to hear that you are both ok, but I had to smile at your comments, you write with such humour :)

Will you dod them again? Or have they had their day :)

Joanna said...

POOR YOU! It will never be forgotten, like the very hard bread rolls I made, perhaps 15 years ago, which are still referred to as "the bullets" - even by people who weren't there ;)
I've never dared make rolls again, although, recently, I have started thinking that maybe I could ...

Would these recipes work with unsalted cheek? I mean, obviously, they wouldn't be a re-creation of your husband's triumph (!), but would they be good? Or just bland?

Joanna x

KJ said...

Oh dear, we've all been there. I've made my fair share of inedible disappointments. Like the time I accidently sprinkled a potato salad with sugar instead of salt.

I think you are very brave to try cooking pigs cheeks to begin with.

Truffle said...

I agree- third time lucky! It does make for a wonderful story though. Your post had me in stitches because it's just the sort of thing I would do!

Asha said...

Oh dear!! Hope you have recovered now!
Yeah! Trial and Error is a part of learning!:))

Gemma said...

What a shame, hopefully next time...

I don't know if I would be brave enough to try pig's cheeks, what are they like?

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Tanna, It left such a revolting taste for 2 days after that it's hard to think about it. It was so good in Spain I can't understand where I went SO wrong.

Hi Marie, Yes I hope I wont repeat that mistake!

Hi Fiona, crikey!

Hi Kelly-Jane, I think I will do them again but only get the butcher to brine them for 3 days not 2 weeks. Nose to Tail Eating suggests 3 days the butcher suggested two weeks and I'd definitely soak them and change the water a lot.

Hi Joanna, Yes people who didn't have the tom yam soup know about it too. I'm not sure if the cheeks would work without brining. Some research needed.

Hi KJ, I can imagine that didn't work.

Hi Truffle, Seriously it was not good! For something to be repeating on you two days later is really not good.

Hi Asha, Trial and Error indeed.

Hi Gemma, Lets just say, cooked and served in a restaurant in Spain they were absolutely fantastic! Cooked in my kitchen they were diabolical! If you see them in a restaurant give them a try.

Thank you for all of your comments.
Amanda x

Deborah said...

I have never even had pigs cheek before, so I would have no idea how to prepare it!! You are so daring, though!!

Caffienated Cowgirl said...

Hey, we all have those type of experiments...congrats for tackling those cheeks again!

Angel said...

I know how embarrassing it can be to live down a little kitchen mistake like that. I still hear about the beef stew i made once that i seasoned on accident with sugar instead of the salt. It was interesting to say the least.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Deborah, daring and mad!! It helps around here!

Hi CC, I know and they are funny when you look back on them. Well, sort of funny. Maybe there isn't enough time between the latest **** up and now as just writing about it, I can taste it!

Hi Angel, I bet it was delicious!! teehee!

Thank you for your comments.
Amanda x

Big Boys Oven said...

That is so funny.... so what did yu do with those cooked pig cheeks? did you recook them again? I think it goes the same with pork, roas pork and chicken that used for boiling soup, boil them in hot water until the fats surface and then only put the meat into the boiling soup. :)

farmingfriends said...

Hi Amanda, What a shame you haven't been able to recreate the meal you had. I am interested in these recipes as I have two gilts that are hopefully in pig and will provide us piglets that we intend to fatten up. I won't share the recipes with Cagney and Lacy (my gilts) though as I don't think they'd let me in the stye again!
Sara from farmingfriends


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