Rainbow chard three ways; braised and served with pig cheeks
The last installment is a wee bit of a cop out, as I was home from work quite late and hadn’t the energy or patientience for much else. But to sweeten the deal there’s a recipe for pig cheeks too, which I had cooked the night before and worked deliciously with the chard.
The washed chard was simply braised for about 8 minutes in seasoned butter with a handful of chives and parsley – simple, hardly worth a recipe, but definitely worth a go.
I acquired the pig cheeks after being tempted by a post by Essex Eating, and will be cooking them time and time again! But not too often, because then I would be obese.
Pig cheek and plum caserole
2 pig cheeks, trimmed of skin and bits of fat (mine weren’t but it wasn’t so hard to do with a decent knife)
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and left whole
A wine glass of dry cider
A wine glass of chicken stock
Zest of a lemon
Two plums, stoned and cut into medium sized pieces.
Heat the oven to gas mark 2, or get the slow cooker ready for action.
Heat a good glug of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the pig cheeks (leave them whole for now) on all sides, then pop them in an oven dish/pan with a lid (or slow cooker). Fry the onions over a medium-high heat until they begin to turn golden brown, then reduce the heat and add the whole garlic cloves and a generous amount of black pepper. After a couple of minutes over a low heat, stick the whole lot in the pot with the cheeks, along with the stock, cider, lemon zest and plums.
Cook in the oven for as many hours as you can bear; I managed six across two days. You’ll need to stir occasionally, and about 3/4 through the cooking time, remove the cheeks, slice into thick slices and return to the pot to continue cooking, along with half a tsp salt. If not serving with the braised, herby chard, add a handful of flat leaf parsley to the mix too.