Carrillera Iberica, or pork cheeks, have an amazing flavor. Here’s how to cook them with smoke added as an extra flavor dimension.
- 2 lbs iberico pork cheeks
- 3 tbsp Hank's Bonafide Beef Rub
- 2-3 tbsp neutral oil for frying
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 bottle red wine
- 2 peaches
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1-2 tbsp corn starch for thickening
- 4 tbsp creme fraiche for serving
- Start by trimming the pork cheeks, there's usually some membranes/sinew on one side.
- Now apply the rub evenly on all sides. Let them rest on a plate in the fridge for a few hours before smoking them.
- Fire up your grill, prepare it for indirect grilling. Have it running at 250° – 265° F. When the grill is up to temp and have stabilized you can add 2-3 chunks of wood for smoking. I use cherry wood, but oak and apple works just as well.
- Place the pork cheeks on the grates and smoke them for 1.5 hours. Then put them on a plate or tray and bring them in to the kitchen. Peel and roughly chop the peaches.
- Heat up a pan using medim heat and add the oil. Now crush the garlic cloves and add to the oil. Take care not to brown them, they should just add flavor to the oil. Add the paprika, cumin and thyme after 1 minute and stir. Now add the red wine, bay leaves, peaches and pork cheeks. Let it simmer gently for 2-3 hours, with the lid on, but with a small gap. Check after 2 hours to see if the meat is fall apart tender. If not, let it simmer a little longer.
- When the casserole is close to done it's time to add the sugar and the corn starch. Bring it to a boil real quick to thicken the sauce, then remove from the stove. Let it cool off for 5 minutes before serving, with a spoon of creme fraiche and a slice of bread.