We love pork cheeks for their deeply savory flavor and their melt-in-your-mouth quality. Relatively lean, yet exceptionally moist, this versatile cut deserves a lot more attention than it usually receives. When cooked properly, these little hockey puck sized portions deliver succulent meat with intensely juicy pork flavor! Already one of our favorite cuts, our pork cheeks are rendered even more fabulous thanks to the fact that they’re made from Berkshire pork!
Pork cheeks, as their moniker suggests, are the sumptuous pockets of meat located in the cheeks of pigs. Meaty little portions marbled with fat, the cheeks should not be confused with the jowl, a larger and much fattier portion of meat surrounding the face. An oft-overlooked cut, pork cheeks can be obtained for a fraction of the price of other cuts, making them the perfect option when feeding a crowd. Slow cooking is necessary for this cut, as it ensures the meat isn’t tough and gives the fat plenty of time to render. Excellent in stews or casseroles, pork cheeks become wonderfully succulent and yielding when slow-cooked. With a relatively high-fat content, pork cheeks are apt to shrink slightly more than other portions of meat during cooking. With the invariable shrinkage in mind, estimate on needing about two to three cheeks per person for a good main course portion.
Berkshire has long been considered the Wagyu of the pork world, thanks to its superior marbling, comparatively dark meat, and rich flavor profile. This heritage breed originated in England, where it was bred and raised as the king’s exclusive meat supply. This royal variety is the outcome of masterful breeding techniques and has resulted in some of the best pork available today! A favorite in Japan as well, you may also see this breed labeled and marketed as Kurobuta.