COCONUT BRAISED PIG CHEEKS

Ingredients

400g pigs cheeks, excess skin and fat removed (if you’re not a fan of pigs cheeks any slow cook cut of beef is also delicious, for example ribs or shin)
2 tbsp Lemongrass
4 tsp Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 long red chillies, bruised in a pestle and mortar
15g Thai shallots, peeled and whole (any small, sweet shallot will do)
1 tbsp Galangal
600-700ml Coconut Milk, enough to submerge the meat
20-25ml Fish Sauce
1 heaped tbsp Palm Sugar
1 heaped tbsp Tamarind Paste
2 tbsp Sweet Basil 
50ml good olive oil
1 tbsp coarse sea salt
10g coriander, picked and washed
100g Sticky Rice

  1. Begin by coating the meat in the olive oil and the coarse sea salt and mix well with your hands ensuring that all the meat gets a good coating of oil and salt.
  2. In a large oven proof tray add the meat, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, long red chillies, Thai shallots, two thirds of the julienne ginger, coconut cream, tamarind, fish sauce and the sugar then tightly wrap the tray in tin foil to protect the contents from direct heat of the oven, all ingredients should be completely submerged in the coconut cream.
  3. Next place this tray on the middle shelf in an oven that is pre-heated to 190 degrees centigrade and cook for 2 hours.
  4. Once the time has passed take the beef out and check that it is cooked correctly, you should be able to break up the piece of meat with a spoon as it is so tender. The trick to this dish is low and slow, let the heat of the oven do all the work and all you need to do is assemble all the ingredients into one tray.
  5. Serve the stew in bowls topped with fresh coriander leaves and complement with Thai Taste sticky rice.
Handy tip

Once the meat is ready to come out taste the coconut broth to ensure that you are happy with the seasoning. It should be delicately sweet from the coconut cream and moreishly salty from the fish sauce, add a little more of either if you think necessary.

Did you know

Kaffir lime peel and leaves are an essential part of Thai cuisine, bringing a sour citrus flavour to all types of dish.