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BBQ – Eat Like a Girl

BBQ Teriyaki Pork Cheeks

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. 

BBQ Teriyaki PIg Cheeks
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Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

serves 2

BBQ Teriyaki PIg Cheeks

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.
  • Enjoy!
  • Notes

    Prep time is only 10 minutes, but try and budget for an overnight marinade also. You will get much better results.

    https://eatlikeagirl.com/bbq-teriyaki-pig-cheeks-pork-recipe/

     

    Korean Pork Belly Bulgogi

    Korean Pork Belly Bulgogi

    Baby, it is cold outside. (Sings along). But don’t worry, I have the solution.

    My solution is tender and bright and soothing and a little bit hot, but not face melting. This pork belly bulgogi is punchy and gorgeous, and it is easy, once you get your mitts on the ingredients. And with this here internet, and the big broad world we all live in, that is not difficult at all. 

    Korean BBQ is a big thing. Korean restaurants often have a hole in the table with wood burning below, so that you can BBQ your own food as you eat. Bulgogi (which translates as fire meat) is a style of marinaded meat, that is then cooked over the BBQ. At home, you can cook it in the oven or on a pan too. It is most commonly marinaded beef,  but I find it works terrifically with pork belly too. Cut thinly, and instead of over the BBQ, I roast it slowly until it is meltingly tender. 

    Korean Pork Belly Pork - Marinading

    Korean Pork Belly Pork – Marinading

    This takes little work. If you have a food processor or good blender the marinade takes minutes, and all you have to do with the pork is slice it. After that it is just time, time to marinade the meat, and time to roast it (just an hour). You can eat it as you like, I love it on top of a rice bowl with sesame seeds, spring onions and some greens like kale. Bulgogi is fabulous in a taco with a simple slaw, you can treat it like a Korean kebab and have it rolled in a flatbread or some pita bread. You can eat it very simple wrapped in some lettuce leaves with some herbs and spring onions. This is a perfect dish to make large amounts of for friends, served from a big serving platter in the centre of the table.

    Korean Bulgogi Pork Belly Rice Bowl

    Korean Bulgogi Pork Belly Rice Bowl

    Note: you can buy ingredients in most Asian supermarkets and online on sites like Sous Chef (a site that I have used as a customer many times, and they ship all over Europe). I make a large-ish batch of this even when I just make it myself. It will keep for a few days in the fridge and is a brilliant sandwich stuffer, for brunch with eggs etc.

    Brunch with leftover bulgogi pork belly, tomatoes, onion and a glorious egg

    Brunch with leftover bulgogi pork belly, tomatoes, onion and a glorious egg

    Recipe: Korean Pork Belly Bulgogi
    Serves 4 

    Ingredients

    1kg skinless & boneless pork belly, and cut into thin slices (this can be easier if you freeze it for an hour to firm it)

    Marinade

    4 cloves garlic, peeled
    1 inch ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
    1 onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
    4 spring onions, ends removed and green and white parts coarsely chopped
    75g gojuchang (Korean red pepper paste – gorgeous & something you should have in your cupboard)
    3 tbsp gochugaru red pepper flakes
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    2 tbsp fish sauce
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    2 tbsp honey
    1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

    To finish

    4 spring onions, thinly sliced
    3 tbsp sesame seeds

    some light oil for frying like groundnut, rapeseed or sunflower

    Method

    Put all of the ingredients for the marinade in your blender or food processor and process until smooth.

    Add to the pork and mix with your hands, ensuring it is well combined. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour, preferably overnight.

    About an hour and a quarter before you want to eat, remove the pork from the fridge, and preheat the oven to 150 deg C. Boil the kettle.

    Depending on the size of your tray, you may need two. Oil them lightly and lay the pork slices in one layer. Put the boiling water in an oven proof bowl or pot and put it at the bottom of the oven. This will ensure that there is steam, and will prevent the pork from drying out.

    Put the pork in the oven and allow it to roast gently. There should be plenty of water, but if for some reason you run out (say if your bowl is small), top it up if you need to.

    After an hour it will be tender and ready to eat. You can push it further if you like, leaving it in longer to make a Korean pulled pork. Just a half an hour extra should do it. (I did this one time, and it is terrific too, if you like pulled pork!).

    Serve with sesame seeds and shredded spring onion on top and eat hot, as you like it (rice bowl, taco, sandwich, in lettuce leaves with herbs).

    Hot and Sour Chicken

    I call this hot and sour chicken, not because it is following a hot and sour recipe from a particular place, but because I am using hot and sour flavours, and some of my favourites too. It is my hot and sour chicken, from my kitchen.

    Chilli, garlic, tamarind, some savoury light fish sauce and lime make this chicken sing. A sprinkle of coriander lifts it right up before you serve it. Some fried or roasted peanuts for the texture, because you can, and because they are awesome. A little shredded spring onion (or scallions as I once knew them) freshen everything again. That says summer to me. The flavours sprinkle and mingle and dance as you eat them. Continue reading

    Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

    Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

    Corn with Lime & Chilli Butter and Feta

    This morning something joyful, simple and full of flavour. I was thinking about corn, how wonderful it is and quick, and remembering how I had had corn in some Mexican restaurants. With a fresh tangy crumbled cheese on top, and of course, a kick.

    I am working on a whole slew of BBQ recipes this week, and some sides are warranted, so let us start here. Working with what we have, instead of a Mexican cotija cheese, I use feta. Feta, a Greek cheese, is protected, and can only be called feta if it is the traditional cheese produced in specific areas of Greece from sheep’s milk, or sheep and goat’s. You, of course, know it, and it is widely available in supermarkets. The real stuff is aged for a minimum of 3 months resulting in a salty firm & crumbly cheese with a bit of a tang. Imitators pale by comparison and sometimes taste odd, but there are some fantastic British & Irish sheep’s cheese you can use too. Like Irish Knockalara (from my home county of Waterford).

    Corn, well that is simple enough. Buy whole corn that is fresh and still luscious and moist, not dry. Preferably with the green husks still on as they keep it nice and fresh. Good juicy limes and a fresh bouncy chilli. As hot as you like, I went for a fresh jalapeno. Continue reading