Pork Cheeks with Creole Dirty Rice
Dirty Rice, a staple rice dish of both New Orleans Creole and Cajun cooking is brought to you by one of Emeril’s newest upcoming Chefs, Chris Wilson. Accompanied with Pork Cheeks, you’ll certainly get a taste of the South in your mouth.
- Pork cheeks - 2 ½ pounds, cleaned and trimmed of all tough membranes
- Garlic - 8 cloves
- Thyme - 6 sprigs, fresh
- Kosher Salt - 1 ½ tablespoons
- Black Pepper - 1 tablespoon, coarsely ground
- Coriander seed - 1 tablespoon
- Vegetable Oil - As needed
- Flour - 1 cup, or more as needed for dusting
- Unsalted Butter - 2 tablespoons
- Creole Dirty Rice - 1 recipe, for serving
- Creole Dirty Rice
- Vegetable Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Yellow Onion - ½ cup, chopped
- Bell Pepper - ½ cup, chopped
- Ground Pork - ¼ pound
- Chicken Livers - ¼ pound, pureed
- Bay Leaves - 2
- Jalapeno - 1 tablespoon, finely chopped
- Salt - ½ teaspoon
- Coriander - ¼ teaspoon, ground
- Cumin - ¼ teaspoon, ground
- Cayenne Pepper - ¼ teaspoon
- Long Grain Rice - 2 cups, cooked
- Beef Stock - ¼ cup (alt. canned, low sodium beef broth)
- Tabasco - Dash (alt. other Louisiana hot sauce), to taste
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the pork cheeks, garlic, thyme, salt, pepper, and coriander seeds in a baking dish just large enough to hold the pork in one layer. Add enough vegetable oil to completely cover the pork. Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake until cheeks are fork-tender, usually 4 to 4 ½ hours. (Note: this will depend on the size of pork cheeks you are able to procure, so check periodically during the cooking time.) When the pork is tender, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the oil. Once cool, remove the cheeks from the oil and pat dry with paper towels. (Oil may be strained and used for another purpose.)
Dust the cheeks lightly with flour. Heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and, when oil is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the butter. Sauté the cheeks, in batches if necessary, until golden brown on all sides, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and repeat with remaining cheeks, adding more vegetable oil and remaining butter if necessary.
CREOLE DIRTY RICE
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. When hot, add the butter, onions, and bell peppers and sauté vegetables until tender and lightly caramelized, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the pork and cook, using the spoon to break the pork into small pieces of meat, until well-browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the liver puree, bay leaves, jalapeno, salt, coriander, cumin, and cayenne and cook until liver is cooked through and spices are fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and beef stock and continue to cook, stirring, until well-combined and rice is heated through, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and add hot sauce to taste.