Braised pork cheeks, pink ginger, polenta and macadamia nuts


Cheeks are no news in our country and you can find them on restaurant menus quite often. Beef or veal are the most common, but we also like pork ones. Honza added polenta to this recipe, but even a potato mash would be great. And macadamia nuts? They are the best. Here we go!

For 4 portions:

1kg pork cheeks
100g macadamia nuts
200g button mushrooms
200g ginger
300g onion
200g parsnip

20g tomato purée
100ml rice vinegar
40g sugar
20ml beetroot juice
12g salt
200ml white wine
2l chicken stock
200g instant polenta
600ml milk
100g butter
40ml hazelnut oil

Prep the cheeks. Season them properly and fry them off in hot oil till golden brown. Put aside and fry the finely chopped onions in the same pan. Pour in a little water after they get brown, to get the same colour. Add chopped parsnips, mushroom and ginger trimmings. Add the purée and get it all brown, the base should have really dark colour. Add the white wine and let it reduce. Move it all to a pressure cooker (including the chicken broth) and cook for about 40 minutes full pressure. Then remove the meat, pass the sauce through a sieve and let it reduce to a good consistency. Add the juice from the pickled ginger and season with butter and salt.

How to make pickled ginger at home? Quite simply. Peel the ginger (ideally use a spoon, it will get into all the folds easily) and slice finely on a mandolin slicer. Cook the vinegar with sugar, salt and red beet juice and pour it over the ginger. This must be done at least 2 hours in advance but preferably at least a week. Place the mixture in a glass and turn it over, until it cools completely. Store in the fridge: it will last for one year. You can adjust acidity and sweetness as you prefer. However, tasting acidic liquor is not easy, especially when it is hot.

Bring the milk to boil and add salt. Slowly add polenta and stir well, it should be very creamy after a while.  Add the butter, walnut oil and you are ready to serve. Roast the nuts slowly in a pan or oven. Season immediately.

We are ready to go! Slice the mushroom and serve with the rest. Enjoy!