Suckling Pig's Cheeks with Soy Sauce and Potato Cream

Metric version of recipe

Yields 9 portions

Ingredient Amount
Pig’s cheeks  
Suckling pig cheeks, 2 cheeks per serving 2 lbs.
Salt 1 tsp.
Olive oil, extra virgin, divided use 5 Tbsp.
Serrano ham bone 1 lb.
Onions, chopped ¾ cup
Garlic, chopped 1 tsp.
Soy sauce ½ cup
Sake ½ cup
Potato pureé  
Potatoes, starchy, Russets, peeled 9 oz.
Salt, divided use 1 tsp.
Butter, unsalted (2 ¼ sticks) 1 cup, plus 2 Tbsp.
Rosemary or flat-leaf parsley, chopped 1 ½ tsp.

Method

  1. Make the pig’s cheeks. Place the pig’s cheeks in a large saucepan, add 4 quarts water to cover, the salt, 1 tablespoon of oil, and the ham bone and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low, cover partially, and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until the skin and meat is very tender.
  2. Drain the cheeks and allow them to cool until they can be handled. Slice them into ¼-inch-thick slices and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic. Cook stirring, for a minute, until fragrant, and add the sliced suckling pig cheeks, the soy sauce, and sake. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce for 10 minutes, or until the oil and liquids have reduced to a little over ½ cup. Reserve warm.
  4. Make the potato pureé. Place the peeled potatoes in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover by an inch (about 8 cups). Add ½ teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover partially and boil until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain and return to the warm pot. Cover tightly and let sit for 5 minutes.
  5. Mash the potatoes through a food mill or potato ricer or by hand in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the butter, using a whisk to stir until you have a fine potato cream, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with ½ teaspoon of salt.
  6. Place 2 spoonfuls (about 3 tablespoons) of potato cream in the middle of each plate. Top the potato with 4 slices of pig’s cheeks and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the jus. Sprinkle with rosemary or parsley and serve.

Additional tips

Recipe credit: Cándido López Cuerdo, as presented at the Worlds of Flavor International Conference & Festival. Published with permission of the author. All rights reserved. Presented at Kitchen Workshops IV A and IV B on Friday, Nov. 3, 2006

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