Braised Pork Cheeks with Baby Bok Choy and Carrots

Total Time:
5 hr
Prep:
40 min
Cook:
4 hr 20 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Intermediate

Ingredients
  • 2 trotters (pig's feet), split
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine
  • 10 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium turnip, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and smashed
  • 1 piece star anise
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce (see Cook's Note)
  • 10 to 12 pork cheeks, preferably local
  • Canola oil, for searing and sauteeing
  • 1 pound multicolored baby carrots, halved lengthwise
  • 4 heads baby bok choy, halved lengthwise
  • 1/4 head red cabbage, julienned
  • Jasmine rice, for serving
  • Scallions, sliced on a bias, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

  • Season the trotters with salt and pepper, place in a roasting pan and roast until the edges are slightly crispy, about 1 hour.

  • Add the roasted trotters, wine, mushrooms, onion, turnip, garlic, lemongrass, kaffir leaves, ginger, star anise and 2 gallons of cold water to a stock pot. Bring to a decent simmer and cook on medium-low heat, skimming occasionally, until reduced by a third, about 2 hours. Strain the stock through a fine mesh strainer, discard the solids and stir in the sweet soy. You will want to drink this straight. Do not do this. Fight the urge. You just made pretty awesome pork stock.

  • Preheat the oven again to 350 degrees F. Heat a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat.

  • Season the pork cheeks with salt and pepper and sear until they begin to get color and crust, about 4 minutes per side.

  • Place the cheeks in a single layer in a large oven-safe pan or a casserole dish. Cover the cheeks about 3/4 of the way with the pork stock and cover with foil. Cook in the oven until the meat just pulls apart with a fork, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Cooking time will differ depending on the size of the cheeks, so check them at the 1 1/2-hour mark. Reserve about a cup of the braising liquid. You just braised pork cheeks! Excellent work. We are close to the eating part.

  • Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add a splash of canola oil and the carrots and saute until they begin to crisp on the outside, about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and cook just until it wilts, about 4 minutes. Add the cheeks and a splash of the braising liquid, then gently heat through until the cheeks are hot to the touch. Add the cabbage.

  • Serve the pork cheeks and vegetables over jasmine rice and garnish with cilantro and scallions. Eat the great food you just made. Share it with a friend, or don't. Well done.

  • This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional and may have been scaled down from a bulk recipe. The Food Network Kitchens have not tested it for home use and therefore cannot make any representation as to the results.


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