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The Old Quay House Hotel and restaurant The Old Quay House Hotel and restaurant The Old Quay House Hotel and restaurant

Recipe from Ben Bass: braised pig’s cheek with pearl barley risotto

December 20th, 2013

As we move towards the festive break there’s a big focus on food, especially here at the Old Quay House where our head chef Ben Bass will be busy in the kitchen. Here’s a Q Restaurant favourite and a recipe that Ben swears by. It involves a bit of preparation, but pig’s cheeks are an often overlooked part of meat and are very tender when cooked for a long time. They can be purchased from most local butchers and are very good value for money. Plus this dish is delicious and a definite wintery crowd pleaser. Happy cooking!

Ben Bass Portrait-small

Braised pig’s cheek, pearl barley risotto, parmesan and hazelnuts

This will make enough for four starters or you could scale it up to make four mains.

Ingredients:

200g of pearl barley (soaked overnight)

2 shallots (finely chopped)

1 clove of garlic (crushed)

Butter

50ml dry sherry

400ml white chicken stock (hot)

100g parmesan

50ml cream

200ml red wine

500ml dark veal/chicken stock

4 pigs cheeks (trimmed of excess fat)

50g crushed hazelnuts

Step 1
Marinate the pig’s cheeks in the red wine overnight.

Step 2
Drain well, pat dry and lightly season. Reduce the red wine by half, skimming all the time.

Step 3
Add the dark stock and bring to the boil, still skimming as you go.

Step 4
Brown the pig’s cheeks in oil and butter. Drain and add to the stock. Cover and braise for about 3 hours, checking after 2.

Step 5
When done, remove the cheeks from the liquor. Reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency, skim well and  return the cheeks to the sauce before setting set aside.

Step 6
Sweat the shallots and garlic in butter taking care not to brown them. Add the drained barley, cook out for a few minutes and then turn up the heat.

Step 7
Add the sherry and stir. Once nearly gone, add the hot stock a ladleful at a time. Keeping adding to the barley similar to making a risotto. Keep doing this until the barley is tender.

Step 8
Finish with seasoning, butter, parmesan and a little cream. You want a soft flowing consistency.

Step 9
Put the barley in hot bowls. Top with pigs cheeks and dust with some chopped hazelnuts. Add a little sauce and serve.

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