Low Syn Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple | Slimming World

Pork Cheeks1

Pig’s cheeks are cheap cuts of meat best cooked by braising or slow cooking. They’re not the prettiest but their texture and flavour are unrivalled and in our opinion they are one of the most under-rated and under-used cuts of a pig. Sadly, they are not widely available, but your local butcher should be able to get some for you, or you can buy online from many butchers (we use Turner and George). Waitrose also have them in stock quite often.

We like to use Sukrin, which is an all-natural granulated stevia sweetener alternative to sugar with zero calories. It doesn’t have that strange after taste that a lot of artificial sweeteners do, which makes it perfect for cooking and baking.

Sukrin is in equal and weight to sugar, so if you're using a powdered sweetener you'll need to use less as it weighs less.

You can grab Sukrin over on Amazon

As is the case with most of the cheaper cuts of meat the cheeks are not suited to fast cooking. They need a low, slow heat to allow all the fibres, made tough from actually doing something to break down, becoming gelatinous and soft.

If you can get your hands on some then we can’t recommend them highly enough!

Pork Cheeks2

Normally this recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of honey, but a perfect substitute is Sweet Freedom Dark Natural Sweetener. We’ve started using this as a replacement, as it’s half the syn value of honey (only 0.5 syns a teaspoon)

This Slimming World friendly recipe can be done in the Instant Pot or in the slow cooker. It can even be done in a casserole dish in the oven.




Low Syn Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple | Slimming World

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Prep Time

Cooking Time

people 30 minutes 3-4 hours


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  1. Put the crushed garlic in a small bowl and add in the thyme, Sweet Freedom Natural Dark Sweetener, parsley and a tablespoon of water. Continue to crush some more until you achieve a paste
  2. Pat the pork cheeks completely dry with paper towels and then cover the pork cheeks with the paste and season with salt and pepper. Let them marinate for at least an hour before cooking
  3. After allowing them to absorb the flavours for about an hour, quickly dredge the pork cheeks in the flour. They shouldn't be coated in flour, just a hint should remain
  4. Set the Instant Pot to sauté and spray in some Olive Oil Frylight (or heat the olive oil in a heavy pan on a medium high heat)
  5. Sear the pork cheeks (about 30 seconds per each of its 3-4 sides) until all sides are browned
  6. After each cheek is seared, remove from the pan and set to one side
  7. Add a little more Frylight and sauté the onions, peppers, shallots and carrots until they are golden
  8. Add the pork cheeks, red wine vinegar and bay leaf. Allow to reduce slightly over a medium heat (the Instant Pot should still be on sauté)
  9. Add the beef stock, potatoes and apple.
  10. Turn the Instant Pot to slow cook on medium setting for 3 - 4 hours (or turn down the heat under the pan and cook for 1.5 - 2 hours, or place in a covered casserole dish in medium oven for 1.5 - 2 hours)
  11. When the pig cheeks are completely tender remove from the heat and serve


Syn values given are correct at time of writing but may not always be accurate.

This website is unofficial and in no way part of or representative of Slimming World. We’re aren’t trained by Slimming World nor authorised to give Slimming World advice. Should any advice given here should not replace the advice of your Slimming World consultant.

Ideally you should check with Slimming world for the most up to date Syn values using official resources such as; the Syns calculator, Syns Online on LifelineOnline or by calling the Syns Hotline on (0906) 851 8518.

Although pinchofnom.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Under no circumstances will pinchofnom.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.

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