Recipe By Chef John
Published Apr 28th
Prep - Cook - Additional - Ready In -
Servings 4 servings Calories 1619

You’ll probably need to order pork cheeks from your butcher, but the resulting slow-cooked meaty goodness is so worth it. This is delicious served over buttery mashed potatoes with lots of the gravy.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 8 (4 ounce) pork cheeks
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour for dredging, or as needed
  • 2 tablespoons clarified butter
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups hard apple cider
  • 2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced

Cooking Directions

  1. 1 Season both sides of pork cheeks with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and press it into the meat to coat thoroughly.
  2. 2 Heat clarified butter in a pan over medium-high heat. Sear meat on both sides until richly browned, adjusting heat lower if necessary. When cheeks are browned, reduce heat to medium. Transfer cheeks to a plate to rest.
  3. 3 Remove all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add onions, carrots, and celery to skillet. Cook and stir until softened and sweet, seasoning with a pinch of salt. Add vinegar and stir to deglaze the pan. Pour in the cider and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Add sage and rosemary. Reduce heat to low and transfer cheeks back to pan. Cover. Cook until fork tender but not falling apart, 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the pork cheeks. Transfer to a plate.
  4. 4 Bring liquid to a boil over high heat, skimming off fat as it rises to the surface. Reduce volume of liquid by about 60 to 70%. Sauce will start to thicken up. Taste for salt and season as needed. Transfer cheeks back to liquid. Continue to cook over medium-low heat until cheeks are heated through and tender and sauce is thick enough to coat cheeks.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories 1619
  • Carbohydrate 23.5 g
  • Cholesterol 193.3 mg
  • Fat 153.3 g
  • Fiber 1.3 g
  • Protein 19.7 g
  • Saturated Fat 58 g
  • Sodium 296.7 mg
  • Sugar 9.8 g

Chef's Notes

if you want extra sauce, you can add an extra tablespoon of flour to the veggies when they are sautéing. Then add an extra cup of cider and broth, and proceed as shown.


  1. Excellent... Came home from Spain wanting to recreate the pork cheeks, Carrilladas, that I enjoyed in Seville and Granada. Came very close to what I tasted, but a bit different. I don't remember it being sweet. Still, it was delicious. Will keep looking for the right recipe. Go with's so much better than beef.
  2. This dish was delicious I substituted the pork Check s with beef Cheek. Instead of cider I used porto and a tiny bit of honey.
  3. Absolutely loved this but- I used beef cheeks instead of pork cheeks- will definitely order pork cheeks next time but definitely need to adjust cooking time for beef cheeks a bit. I also skipped the rosemary (not a fan of rosemary except with lamb) and doubled up on sage. Recipe was easy & the accompanying - Read more ...
  4. I will make it again! I first heard of pork cheeks while in Portugal last month. They are a hidden treasure. I followed the recipe explicitly - even buying fresh herbs! I think the cider I chose was too sweet. My son recommended the drier English style. The other guest comes from a family which - Read more ...
  5. Unbelievably good. Was told years ago about the flavor of pork cheeks but just now have a local meat distributor that carries them. I tend to keep my recipes nonalcoholic so I substituted general apple cider for the hard apple cider. Would highly recommend this recipe!

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