This recipe is the first in a series of 4 that I developed in partnership with the Big Green Egg who sponsored this post. (Read more about sponsored content on Eat Like a Girl).
This is the first in a series of recipe posts that I developed for the Big Green Egg. The iconic ceramic BBQ is a terrific piece of kit that I have really enjoyed working with at home. It The Big Green Egg has a domed lid which makes it an all weather BBQ but also allows very precise temperature control (combined with air valves at the top and at the bottom). The enamel coating ensures that it doesn’t rust and it is ready to use within 15 minutes of sparking up. I thought that I would go through a lot of charcoal but it is surprisingly efficient for such a big beast.
There is such satisfaction in cooking over fire. The smells and flavours of smoke permeate the food and the results vary hugely depending whether you cook over a flame or smouldering coals. I like to use flame for steaks and then stick something on low and slow to cook gently. Something like wings, ribs or these pig cheeks.
A hugely underrated and terrific value cut of meat, pig cheeks are a dream to cook on the BBQ. They have a deep porky flavour and firm texture, and they are often cooked so that they yield and fall apart, functioning as a glamorous pulled pork. I don’t know why people don’t stop them before this, I love them cooked until before this point, still firm but rich and moist, and glorious coated in a dark glaze as I have here.
Pig cheeks BBQ very well when marinaded overnight in a soy based teriyaki marinade which functions not just in terms of flavour, but also as a brine. After an hour of gentle cooking the cheeks are tender and moist, and full of flavour. A gorgeous bite. Glazed with a reduction of the marinade cooked on the hob once the cheeks hit the fire. Like this with a slaw, or in a Japanese style taco with sweet Japanese mayonnaise, some sriracha, some sesame seeds and fresh coriander.
Enjoy! And do share what you think of them, and any ideas that you have for BBQ season.
- 500g pig cheeks, trimmed (they are sold like this normally, if not ask your butcher to do it)
- 120ml soy sauce
- 120ml sake or dry sherry
- 60ml rice vinegar (or another light vinegar)
- 4 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp gojuchang (Korean chilli paste) or some coarsely chopped fresh chilli - optional, I like a little heat
Combine everything except the pig cheeks in a zip loc bag or the container in which you will marinade the pig cheeks.
Add the pig cheeks and mix well. Leave to marinade in the fridge overnight, or for as long as possible, at least 2 hours.
Fire up your BBQ / Big Green Egg. Once the charcoal starts to smoulder, bring the temperature to a stable 150 deg C (the BGE has a temperature gauge which makes this easy).
Remove the cheeks from the marinade and put on the grill. Turn occasionally. After an hour they will be done.
While the cheeks are cooking, reduce the leftover marinade by half on the hob to use as a sauce / glaze.
Eat as they are - so good! - with the reduced marinade. These work really well as a Japanese taco as specified in the post above.
Prep time is only 10 minutes, but try and budget for an overnight marinade also. You will get much better results.
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