Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple

  • 30MINS
  • 4HR
  • 413KCAL

This Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe is a great slimming friendly meal whether you’re counting calories or following Weight Watchers.

NutritionPer Serving

  • Calories413
  • Carbs31g
  • Protein31g
  • Fat18g
  • Saturates6g
  • Sugars7g

For the full list of ingredients and comprehensive instructions, please see the recipe card at the end of this post. Before you scroll, there’s important stuff to know in the blurb!

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 underrated and under-used cuts of a pig.

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 to break down, becoming gelatinous, soft and flavourful!

If you can get your hands on some pig cheeks then we can’t recommend this recipe highly enough!

What diets is this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe suitable for?

This Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe is suitable for dairy free diets.

Please make sure to double or triple check all of your ingredients if you’re cooking for people with allergies.

How Weight Watchers friendly is this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe?

  • You need to count 13 Points per portion of this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe if you’re on WW Green.
  • You need to count 13 Points per portion of this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe if you’re on WW Blue.
  • You need to count 9 Points per portion of this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe if you’re on WW Purple.

Do you need any special ingredients to make Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple?

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Sadly, pig cheeks are often not widely available, but your local butcher should be able to get some for you, or you can buy online from many butchers (such as Turner and George).

Waitrose and Morrisons also have them in stock quite often!

This recipe can be made in a slow cooker, or in a casserole dish in the oven.

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Normally this recipe calls for a couple of tablespoons of honey, but a perfect substitute is Sweet Freedom Dark Natural Sweetener. It is available in most large supermarkets, or on Amazon.

How many calories are in this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple?

There are 413 calories per portion in this Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe, which means it falls into our Weekly Indulgence category.

To cut down the amount of calories even more, you can simply halve the portion size and serve with a healthy accompaniment.

These Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple are perfect if you’re following a calorie controlled diet, and fits well with any one of the major diet plans such as Weight Watchers.

As a guide, an average man needs around 2,500kcal (10,500kJ) a day to maintain a healthy body weight. For an average woman, that figure is around 2,000kcal (8,400kJ) a day. Obviously, if your goal is to lose weight then you might want to adjust these slightly! You can read more about these recommendations on the NHS website.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 4

Set the Instant Pot to sauté and spray in some low calorie cooking spray (or heat the olive oil in a heavy pan on a medium high heat).

Step 5

Sear the pork cheeks (about 30 seconds per each of its 3-4 sides) until all sides are browned.

Step 6

After each cheek is seared, remove from the pan and set to one side.

Step 7

Add a little more low calorie cooking spray and sauté the onions, peppers, shallots and carrots until they are golden.

Step 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).

Step 9

Add the beef stock, potatoes and apple.

Step 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).

Step 11

When the pig cheeks are completely tender remove from the heat and serve.

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How do you know when these Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple are cooked?

Sauté the onions, peppers, shallots and carrots until they are golden.

Sear the pork cheeks (about 30 seconds per each of its 3-4 sides) until all sides are browned, then slow cook until the pig cheeks are completely tender.

Standard advice here in the UK is to cook food until it has reached 70°C and stayed at that temperature for 2 minutes. This is to keep your family safe.

How long can you keep Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple in the fridge?

Once you’ve put it out, ideally you should eat it within 4 hours.

If you allow any leftovers to cool, make sure to refrigerate in a container with a lid and chill. You can keep leftovers of these Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple in the fridge for approximately 3 days.

Can I freeze these Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple?

Yes you can! This recipe can be frozen, but please remember to do the following;

  • Freeze it as soon as it is cold enough.
  • Use a container or bag that is suitable for freezing.

Don’t forget to add a label with what it is, and on what date you put it in the freezer!

How do I reheat these Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple?

From chilled: Place in a microwave proof container with loosely fitting lid and heat for 4-7 minutes until piping hot.
From frozen: Allow to defrost, and heat covered in the microwave for 3-5 minutes then stir. Cook for a further 5-7 minutes and until food is piping hot all the way through.

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Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple

This Braised Pork Cheeks with Apple recipe is a great slimming friendly meal whether you’re counting calories or following Weight Watchers.
  • Prep Time
    30 MINS
  • Cook Time
    4 HR
  • KCals 413
  • Carbs 31G
WW Points
  • 13 Green
  • 13 Blue
  • 9 Purple

Ingredients

  • 12 pork cheeks
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 6 shallots peeled and cut in half
  • 100 g green apple peeled and diced
  • 2 carrots peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper deseeded and finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 150 ml red wine vinegar
  • 4-5 potatoes cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp Sweet Freedom Natural Dark Sweetener
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley chopped
  • low calorie cooking spray
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600 ml beef stock made up with 2 stock cubes
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

We use a fan assisted oven for all of our recipes. Check out our oven temperature conversion guide.

Please do not screenshot this. Recipes are updated often

Instructions

  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 low calorie cooking spray (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 Low calorie cooking spray 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.

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4 comments

See what others have to say

SueTuesday 8th January 2019

Thank you for the fab recipe will pop off to kitchen and get started xx

Reply

Julie zimmermannWednesday 4th January 2017

Hi i was wondering if i could use pork tenderloin if i can’t get cheeks? Thank you

Reply

SimplyMrsPFriday 4th November 2016

Hi
Thank you for your wonderful website. What great recipes 🙂

I am just thinking that I could substitute the sweet freedom syrup for the dark golden sukrin ‘sugar’. What do you think?

Thank you x

Reply

    Emma TTuesday 12th September 2017

    Hi there,

    You could do, we’ve not tried it so you would have to see how it worked out!

    Reply

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