“This is a beautiful and inexpensive cut from the centre of the jowl. The meat has a dark red colour and is very lean, with virtually no fat. It’s perfectly suited to being cooked for a long time, so it’s particularly good cooked in a pressure cooker, or for braising gently in casseroles or stews,” says Martin Wishart.


  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 12 pork cheeks
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cloves
  • 10g coriander seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 10g Sichuan peppercorns
  • 20g cinnamon stick
  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 1½ litre chicken stock
  • 80g unsalted butter, soft
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 100ml sesame oil
  • 4 pak choi
  • Toasted white sesame seeds, to garnish


  1. Place a large pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the oil. Season the pork cheeks and add to the pan. Cook all over until golden brown, then remove and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat and add the onion, cooking until soft and translucent. Add the cloves, coriander, star anise, peppercorns, cinnamon, garlic, soy sauce and stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Pour everything into a pressure cooker with the browned pork cheeks.
  3. Seal the pressure cooker and cook over a medium-high heat for 45 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to depressurise for 15-20 minutes. Remove the lid from the pressure cooker and check that the cheeks are nice and tender – they should still hold their shape but easily fall apart once cut.
  4. Transfer the cooking liquid to a clean pan and reduce until you are left with 800ml liquid. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan to remove the spices. Place the liquid over a medium heat and bring to a simmer. Combine the butter and flour in a small bowl to form a smooth paste, then whisk the paste into the hot stock, a small piece at a time, until the sauce is nice and thick. Add the honey and taste for seasoning, adding a pinch of salt if needed.
  5. Heat the sesame oil in a sauté pan over a high heat. Separate the pak choi stems and add to the pan, frying briefly until wilted but still keeping some crunch.
  6. Transfer the pak choi to a serving platter and place the cheeks in the middle. Serve immediately with a garnish of toasted sesame seeds.

Recipe courtesy of greatbritishchefs.com

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