BBQ60/17: Szechuan smoked pigs cheeks with plum ketchup:
I haven’t cooked pigs cheeks before but this recipe by Rich Harris was in my list and I spotted pigs cheeks on the Farmison site when I placed my last order so added them to my basket (1Kg for £12.49).
I got my smoker set up to run for about 3 hours with 1x 4Kg bag of heat beads and half a chimney of lit lumpwood dumped on top. I left it to get fired up whilst I got the pigs cheeks ready. The meat was well trimmed without any sinew, some of the cheeks had the silver skin on and I trimmed that off so the rub would stick to create a bark. I made the rub with Szechuan pepper, sea salt and paprika then placed the meat in my metal roasting tray and used my spice shaker to apply it liberally.The meat was then placed in the smoker with some oak and apple chunks from Smokewood Shack.
After an hour I spritzed the meat with a mix of apple juice and cider vinegar. An hour later I foiled the tray tightly then went to make the plum ketchup by boiling then simmering: Plums, tomatoes, onion, garlic, red chillies, star anise, cinnamon stick, cider vinegar, demerara sugar, black treacle and sea salt. I left it simmering for an hour then blitzed it with a liquidiser then took the pork cheeks off the smoker.
Really simple cook this one, nice to pretty much leave it alone to do it’s thing. The pigs cheeks were quite different to anything else I have had before. I expected them to be as gelatinous as beef cheeks but they weren’t. They were very soft and easy to eat but also very meaty in flavour. The plum ketchup was fantastic and worked really well with the pigs cheeks.
Not a lot to add to this one. Simple cook, great recipe for the rub and ketchup – worth a try!