Pan-Grilled Pork Cheeks with Toasted Guajillo Salsa

Heritage Berkshire cheeks are marinated with lime, garlic, red onions, smoked chile powder and cumin before being pan-grilled and served with sweet potato wedges, jalapeños and toasted guajillo salsa..

Pan-Grilled Pork Cheeks with Toasted Guajillo Salsa

For the Salsa (adapted from a recipe by Rick Bayless)

2 tablespoons fat or oil (I’m using leaf lard)
3 guajillo chiles, stemmed
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and cut in half
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
filtered water

Heat fat in a heavy skillet over medium heat.  Split the chiles and remove the seeds.  Place the chiles flat in the pan and cook, turning continuously, until bright red and fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Transfer to a napkin and drain.

Pour off fat, then add tomatillos and garlic.  Cook until browned, about 3 minutes, then turn, sprinkle with salt and brown on the other side.   Add all ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until slightly chunky.  Add water as necessary to form a thick but pour-able salsa.  Taste and adjust accordingly.

For the Pork

1 pound pastured pork cheeks, trimmed
1 quart filtered water
1/2 lime, wedged
3 cloves garlic, slivered
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon toasted cumin
1 tablespoon smoked chili powder
1 tablespoon wildflower honey
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients and pour over pork.  Allow to marinate 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator

To prepare, drain pork and blot dry.  Rub lightly with melted leaf lard and season with roasted paprika, sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper.  Grill to medium doneness, about 15 minutes.  Serve with grilled sweet potato wedges or bulb onions, guajillo salsa and grilled jalapeño.


This post is part of Real Food Wednesdays!