Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks


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.

4 servings


  • 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


  1. Season both sides of pork cheeks with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and press it into the meat to coat thoroughly.

  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. 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. 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.

    close up view of Cider-Braised Pork Cheeks over mashed potatoes served with salad on a white plate
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

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.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1619 Calories
153g Fat
24g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1619
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 153g 197%
Saturated Fat 58g 290%
Cholesterol 193mg 64%
Sodium 297mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 10g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 3mg 13%
Calcium 21mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 133mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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