Friday 3 July 2015

Pigs Cheeks with Pickled Vegetables and Spicy BBQ Sauce

Yep, more cheeks. I seem to be having a little love affair with cheeks at the moment, be they pigs or ox. Having joined the Big Green Egg forum in the US, I have taken all sorts of advice following my ox cheek effort. I've put in to practice much of that advice and I'm pleased to say, that these pigs cheeks were hands down the best I've ever cooked.

We had them as a family, the kids thoroughly enjoyed them, although they had different sides, but we all had seconds. I basically had the same meal twice!

Cooking this dish caused a first, and hopefully a last. I was bringing the Big Green Egg up to temperature to sear the cheeks over flame. You need to "burp" your egg when you open it, as with the lid down, the flames are snuffed out leaving just red hot glowing coals. You need to lift the lid an inch or two and give it a little waft. Failure to do so adequately causes a load of cold air to get to the coals, which then creates a whole lot of flames "Backdraft" style. (Great film!) The flames licked right up my forearm removing most of the hairs which is a great look. So, I will now be burping more effectively from now on, and also will always wear my fire proof oven mitt!

For the cheeks - serves 2 adults and 2 children
12 pigs cheeks - fat trimmed off
6 tbs Memphis Rub - recipe here
500ml Pork or Chicken Stock

To Serve
Pickled carrot, red onion and red chili pepper - pickle mix recipe here
Pickled Lettuce, Garlic and Dill - same pickle mix as above
BBQ Sauce - recipe here
Equal amounts of French's mustard and Greek yogurt stirred together
Sweet Smoked Paprika

1. Cover the cheeks with the rub mix, make sure they are covered all over.
2. Cover the dish with clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.
3. Heat a Big Green Egg or BBQ to high heat. When Hot brush the griddle with oil. (Use long handled tongs, and dip wadded up kitchen roll in to the oil)
4. Sear the cheeks on both sides until you have some nice caramelisation marks
5. Take them off the heat and put in to a roasting tray.
6. Convert the egg or BBQ to indirect heat, and drop the temperature to 160c. The addition of the cold ceramic plate setter and the cold steel griddle helps to do this reasonably quickly.
7. Put the cheeks back in to the heat, and leave well alone for 2 hours. After which remove them and drop the heat to 125c
8. Pour about half and inch of stock in to the tray, then cover tightly with tin foil and place back on the egg for another 2 hours.
9. Crank the heat up again to about 200c, and remove the foil from the tray. Baste the cheeks with the juices in the tray, then top up with stock if you need to. Leave for another 30 minutes, basting every 10.
10. Serve up! There's no need to rest the cheeks for any more than 5 minutes. Resting meat for longer periods is really for meat that has been cooked at high temperatures, reasonably quickly, like a steak, or a joint of beef. This is not the case here! Sit the cheeks on the pickled lettuce, that is sitting in a puddle of BBQ sauce. Add some pickled pepper and red onion, a dollop of mustard yogurt, and a small pile of the sweet smoked paprika and salt. The idea is that you can sprinkle over as much or as little of this as you want. Don't expect there to be any leftovers!


  1. Nice recipe Criggy. I love pig cheeks! Just need to get myself a BGE.

  2. You won't regret it if you do. I'm using it for so much more than I though I would. The ciabatta I did the other day was on the egg. Lovely crispy base!

  3. Wow!Looks like Our countrys poverty is likely to reduce.Would be amazing as many unemployed people could get Job.Looks like a great plan.Good Job.