Crispy Chilli Pigs Cheeks

Crispy Chilli Pigs Cheeks

These crispy pigs cheeks are great rolled up in a wrap with a crunchy cucumber salad and yogurt dressing.

Crispy Chilli Pigs Cheeks
Serves 4

Ingredients: 12 Pigs Cheeks (Daub Only), 2 Shallots (Finely Diced), 3 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 1 Carrot (Peeled and Finely Diced), 1 Celery Stalk (Chopped), 2 Bay Leaves, 125ml Dry White Wine, 2 Star Anise, 2 Cardamom Pods, 500ml Vegetable Stock, Vegetable Oil, Sea Salt, Cracked White Pepper, 3 Green Chillies (Finely Sliced)

Method:

1) Pour a little vegetable oil in a large casserole dish and place over a medium heat. Add the pigs cheeks and sear well on all sides – remove from the dish and set aside. Add the shallot, garlic, carrot and celery to the pan and fry until soft (around 10 minutes). Return the pig cheeks to the dish and add the white wine. Allow the wine to reduce by half and add the bay leaves, star anise and cardamom pods. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.

2) Turn the heat down low and cover the dish with a heavy lid. Allow the cheeks to braise for around 2 1/2 hours until fully tender. Once cooked, remove the cheeks from the stock and set aside to cool. The stock can be reserved for preparing another dish.

3) Place a large frying pan over a high heat and add 5tbsp of vegetable oil. Add the cheeks to the pan and lightly shred them with a fork. Season to taste with sea salt and cracked white pepper and continue to fry, tossing occasionally, until the cheeks are crispy on all sides.

4) Serve the cheeks with the sliced chilli, some flatbreads, a cucumber salad, some natural yogurt and lime wedges.

Enjoy!

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Cola Braised and BBQ Glazed Ribs

Cola Braised and BBQ Glazed Ribs

Super tender and sticky sweet ribs – perfect for summer grilling.

Pork belly ribs are slow braised in cola before being basted with homemade BBQ sauce and grilled over a high heat.

Cola Braised and BBQ Glazed Ribs
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 Rack of Pork Belly Ribs, 2 Cans of Cola, 8tbsp Tomato Ketchup, 8tbsp Soft Brown Sugar, 2tbsp Worcestershire Sauce, 2tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce, 1tsp Paprika, 2tbsp Sesame Seeds (Toasted)

Method:

1) Preheat your oven to 160c. Place the ribs in a roasting tray and cover with the cola. Cover the roasting tin tightly with kitchen foil and braise for around 2-3 hours or until the ribs are tender.

2) Once braised, transfer the ribs to a clean container to marinade and discard the cooking liquor. Make the marinade by combining the tomato ketchup, soft brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, sweet chilli sauce and paprika in a bowl and mix well. Cover the ribs with the marinade and transfer to the fridge for at least 2 hours or preferably overnight.

3) Before serving, preheat your oven to 220c. Cook the ribs in a shallow baking tray for 30 minutes until golden. Alternatively, grill the ribs on a hot bbq. Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice

I am a big fan of meatballs and this dish of lightly spiced lamb meatballs braised with peas, preserved lemon and dried figs is great for a sharing supper.

Sumac rice is the best accompaniment to these meatballs and is equally good with other lamb dishes.

Braised Lamb Meatballs, Sumac Rice
Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Meatballs: 750g Minced Lamb, 1 Small Onion (Finely Diced), Large Handful Parsley (Finely Chopped), 2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed), 3/4tsp Ground Allspice, 1/2tsp Ground Cinnamon, 75g Dried Cranberries, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked Black Pepper, 1 Egg Yolk (Beaten), 200ml Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 2tsp Preserved Lemon Rind (Chopped), 3 Dried Figs (Finely Chopped), Large Handful Fresh Dill, Mint and Coriander (Chopped)

For the Rice: 300g Basmati Rice, 460ml Water, 25g Unsalted Butter, 2 Cinnamon Sticks, 3tsp Ground Sumac, 1tsp Sea Salt, 1tsp Cracked White Pepper

Method:

1) Combine the minced lamb with the onion, parsley, garlic, allspice, cinnamon, cranberries, sea salt, black pepper and egg yolk in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands until fully combined. Divide into equally sized meatballs.

2) Place a large, heavy based pot (a Le Creuset casserole is perfect) on the stove top over a medium heat. Cook the meatballs in a little neutral oil until well browned all over – around 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock, peas, preserved lemon and figs to the pot, stirring well to combine with the meatballs. Bring the mixture to a simmer and braise the meatballs in the stock for around 10 minutes or until fully cooked and the peas are tender. When ready, add the fresh herbs and stir well to combine.

3) Meanwhile prepare the rice. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the rice, cinnamon sticks and season with the salt and white pepper, stirring until fully coated in butter. Add the boiling water and turn the heat down low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn off the heat, remove the lid and cover with a thin tea towel before replacing the lid. Allow to rest for 10 minutes. Before serving, stir through the ground sumac with a fork to fluff the rice.

4) Serve the meatballs and braising mixture with the sumac rice and a good spoonful of natural yogurt.

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

A great summer recipe – fresh spring pea risotto with the rich smokiness of pancetta and a little basil to finish.

Pea and Pancetta Risotto

Serves 4

Ingredients:

300g Carnaroli Rice, 25ml Olive Oil, 300g Pancetta (Thinly Sliced and Diced), 3 Celery Stalks (Finely Diced), 2 Long Shallots (Finely Diced), 2 Garlic Cloves (Very Finely Sliced), 175ml Rosé Wine, 2 Litres Vegetable Stock, 200g Freshly Shelled Peas, 50g Parmesan (Finely Grated), 25g Unsalted Butter, 12 Basil Leaves (Finely Chopped), 8 Thin Pancetta Slices, Cracked Black Pepper

Method:

1) Bring the vegetable stock to a simmer in a large saucepan. Place a heavy based casserole pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the pancetta to the pan and fry for around 8 minutes or until crisp. Add the celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté for 5 minutes until soft – stirring continuously. Meanwhile, crisp the pancetta slices under a hot grill and set aside.

2) Add the rice to the pan and coat well with the olive oil. Turn the heat up high and add the wine, simmering until almost entirely absorbed by the rice. Reduce the heat to low and add the stock, little by little (allowing the stock to be almost entirely absorbed by the rice before adding more) whist stirring until the rice is tender but has a little bite – this should take around 20-25 minutes. The risotto may not require all of the stock.

3) Remove the pan from the heat and add the peas, parmesan, butter and basil. Fold to combine, cover the pan with a heavy lid and allow to rest for 6 minutes. Once rested, beat the risotto a few times and season to taste with cracked black pepper.

4) Serve the risotto with a good crack of black pepper, a sprinkling of parmesan and the crisp pancetta slices.