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Chef’s Table in Season

Warner's Taste Club - Braised pork cheeks with honeyed root vegetables and roasted garlic mash recipe
Warner's Taste Club - Braised pork cheeks with honeyed root vegetables and roasted garlic mash recipe

Braised pork cheeks with honeyed root vegetables and roasted garlic mash

Try this tasty autumnal recipe from Chris Hallsworth, head chef at The Bridge in Bidford-upon-Avon

Chef's Notes

With autumn finally here and the long nights setting in, it’s time to enjoy simple, slow-cooked dishes. It truly is my favourite time of year in the kitchen. This recipe is typical of what we serve at the restaurant and whilst most people won’t have tried cooking pork cheeks before, it’s a very simple process. The cheeks release so much flavour whilst cooking along with the other ingredients to create a rich and indulgent sauce to go with the creamy mash and sweet roasted vegetables. Ask your local butcher about pork cheeks.

The Bridge is a relaxed riverside brasserie in an idyllic setting on the banks of the River Avon. Sadly the restaurant will be closing again due to the latest Government lockdown, but will continue to offer a takeaway service. Find out more here: thebridgeatbidford.com

Ingredients for the Pork Cheeks

  • 12 pork cheeks
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 leek
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 sprigs of thyme

Method for the Pork Cheeks

  • Preheat the oven to 165°C. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium to high heat, add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and add the pork cheeks to the pan. Cook them on each side until they are caramelised – this will take roughly two minutes on each side. Once caramelised and golden brown in colour, lift the cheeks out of the pan and place to one side.
  • Peel and roughly chop the carrot, onion and garlic, roughly chop and wash the celery and leek. Heat a casserole pan over medium heat and add one tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add the vegetables, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. Cook the vegetables without colour until the onions are translucent – this will take 3-4 minutes. Add the tomato purée, turn the heat down to low and stir thoroughly for a further 3-4 minutes.
  • Next pour in the red wine and bring to the boil. Place the pork cheeks in, pop the lid on and cook in the oven for 1.5 hours.

Ingredients for the Honeyed Root Vegetables

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 2 beetroot
  • 1 small celeriac
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 100g honey
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary

Method for the Honeyed Root Vegetables

  • Peel and chop all the vegetables to roughly the same size, top and tail the carrots and parsnips, also removing the woody centre of the parsnips. Place on a baking tray.
  • Melt the butter in a pan; add the honey and the picked leaves of the thyme and rosemary. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Place the tray in the oven on the same temperature as used for the pork cheeks – give them a stir every 10 minutes to ensure they are thoroughly glazed. They will take about half an hour.

Ingredients for the Roast Garlic Mash

  • 8 maris piper potatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 200ml double cream

Method for the Roast Garlic Mash

  • Peel the potatoes and chop into equal sizes (not too small as this will give a sloppy, gloopy mash). Place them in a pan, give them a quick rinse and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil: simmer until they are cooked through.
  • Place the garlic cloves in their skin in the oven whilst the potatoes are cooking. Once cooked, drain the potatoes in a colander, let the initial steam disappear and mash the potatoes, ensuring they are smooth with no lumps.
  • Remove the garlic from the oven and allow to cool. Pop the cooked centre out of the skin – this will mix smoothly into the potatoes.
  • Bring the cream and butter to the boil in a small pan and mix slowly into the mash, then season to taste.

To Serve

Take the casserole dish out of the oven and remove the pork cheeks. Pour the sauce through a sieve and discard the vegetables. The sauce can now go into a saucepan and reduce by one third – it will thicken on its own and will have a lovely shine to it. Add the cheeks and take off the heat.

That’s the hard work done!

Heat the mash slowly, place onto the plate, along with the vegetables from the oven. Place three pork cheeks on top, pour over some sauce and enjoy!

To drink

Warner's Taste Club - Braised pork cheeks with honeyed root vegetables and roasted garlic mash recipe

From the South Cotswolds, try the much talked about, silver award-winning Atcombe Red from Woodchester Valley Vineyard to drink along-side this rich, robust dish.

10% off your bill at The Bridge, Bidford on Avon

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This offer is valid Monday – Wednesdays during January 2021. Tables must be pre-booked online at thebridgebidford.com or by calling 01789 773700. Please quote “Warner’s Taste Club” at time of booking and show your Taste Club card on arrival. Bookings are subject to availability and terms and conditions apply.

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