Pork Cheek Tacos

Recipe kindly provided by James Kelleher from Smoke Yard Kitchen

Pork cheeks offer a great, inexpensive alternative to pork shoulder, especially for small family meals. They are rich and meaty and once smoked have an unctuous, stickiness to them, enough to satisfy any BBQ craving!

INGREDIENTS

8 x pig cheeks
20 x cherry tomatoes
3 x peppers
1/2 x red onion
8 x flour tortillas
8 x spring onions
1 x small bunch of fresh coriander
1 x lime
100ml x sour cream
salt and pepper
2 x TBSPs your favourite BBQ sauce

FOR THE RUB

100g x sea salt
100g x brown sugar
1 x TSP fennel seeds
1 x TSP coriander seeds
1 x TSP black peppercorns
1 x TSP red chilli flakes
3 x TSP paprika

EGG SETUP

Set up your EGG for INDIRECT cooking with the Plate Setter in the legs up position and place the stainless steel grid on top. Target temperature is 225°F/105°C.

METHOD

Toast the fennel seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and chilli flakes in a dry pan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes when they will begin to release their flavours. Pour into a pestle and mortar or a food processor, add the remaining ingredients for the rub and then grind or blitz until you have a well mixed fine rub.

Trim any excess fat or sinew from the pork cheeks. Sprinkle the cheeks all over with an even coating of the rub, patting the rub on gently as you go, You probably won’t use all the rub, keep any excess in an airtight container.

Slice 12 of the cherry tomatoes in half and sprinkle over some sea salt.

Set up your EGG and light the coals. Once the coals are glowing and you would normally start to regulate the temperature etc place the peppers directly on the coals. Use some long tongs and a Pit Mitt BBQ glove to turn the peppers over every minute until the whole pepper is burnt. Place the peppers in a container and cover with cling film. Continue to set up you EGG for indirect cooking, add a few chunks of applewood to the coals, put the Plate Setter in with the legs in the upright position and place the stainless steel grid on top. Target temperature is 225°F/105°C.

Place the pork cheeks on the stainless steel grid and leave for 2 hours. After 2 hours wrap the cheeks in a double layer of foil, add the BBQ sauce and place back on the EGG. At this stage place the sliced cherry tomatoes on a sheet of tin foil and add to the EGG, the foil will stop the tomatoes falling through the grid as they cook.

To make the salsa, remove the burnt skin and seeds from the peppers, cut into a small dice and add to a mixing bowl. Dice the red onion and remaining cherry tomatoes, roughly chop half of the coriander, add to the peppers with the lime juice, mix well and season with salt and pepper.

After 2 hours remove the cherry tomatoes from the EGG, they should have shrivelled up slightly and look a bit like sun dried tomatoes.

After another hour check the pork cheeks, gently push down with the back of a fork, they should fall apart easily if they are ready, if not return to the EGG and continue to cook. Check every 15 minutes until they are ready.

Once the pork cheeks are ready remove from the EGG and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Then place the pork cheeks on a large board, pour over the juices and BBQ sauce from the foil they were cooked in and serve with flour tortillas, the remains coriander roughly chopped, the spring onions sliced and sour cream. Enjoy!

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