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Recipe: Braised Free-Range Pork Cheeks in Red Wine Sauce
- 4 free-range pork cheeks, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 celery stalks, diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups beef or vegetable broth
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
For Preparing Pork Cheeks:
- Heat olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the pork cheeks and sear them until well-browned on all sides. Remove and set aside.
For Making the Braised Pork Cheeks:
- In the same pot, add the chopped onions, minced garlic, diced carrots, and diced celery. Sauté until the vegetables soften and become fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Return the seared pork cheeks to the pot. Pour in the red wine, scraping the bottom to deglaze and release flavorful bits.
- Add the bay leaves, fresh rosemary, and beef or vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a simmer.
- Cover the pot and let it simmer gently for 2.5 to 3 hours, or until the pork cheeks are fork-tender.
- Season the braised pork cheeks with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Carefully remove the pork cheeks from the pot and arrange them on serving plates.
- Ladle the rich red wine sauce and vegetables over the cheeks.
- Garnish with fresh parsley for a burst of color and a touch of freshness.
- Serve this exquisite dish with creamy mashed potatoes or a hearty grain like polenta to soak up the succulent sauce.