Meat and poultry Recipes Recipes for special occasions

Iberian cheeks to Porto

Iberian cheeks to Porto


  • Half
  • 180 minutes
  • For 6 people
  • € 4 / person
  • 305kcal per 100g.

How to prepare cheeks .

If a meat recipe always succeeds at home when I prepare it, it is this recipe for cheeks in Porto.

I assure you that some of you have stopped me on the street to tell me, I have triumphed at home at Christmas with your cheek recipe … So with some more tips and tricks, you can get to embroider them. Also on the blog you can prepare this piece of meat also with wine and plums .

The Iberian cheeks or cheeks  are a piece of rounded shape, obtained from the lower jaw of the Iberian pig. Very tasty although somewhat stringy if prepared on the grill or grilled.

They are very juicy, they have a lot of gelatin that, well cooked, makes it cut like butter and melt in your mouth. Do not be fooled by the description of “jaw”, just like the Galician cap is delicious, one of those meats that when you try becomes common in your home.

With this type of meat you have surely seen a lot of preparation, although in my opinion the best they are are stews or stews.

As I present them today, they come gala, with a Port and a little honey from my land. It accepts many variations and they are all just as good. This main dish recommendation for a special occasion or these upcoming dates takes a little work.

The most important thing for this recipe is that the cheeks  we buy are of good quality . Exquisite and gelatinous if cooked in sauce, they are tender and mellow and once impregnated with Port, even more so.

This recipe is a typical dish of Extremaduran cuisine and is usually prepared in a stew. It is common in any Sunday or festive meal, such as Christmas approaching, and if you can prepare it the day before eating it will be even richer than freshly made.

Preparation of the cheeks to Porto

  1. Season to taste with a little freshly ground black pepper and salt. We coat them with a little flour, we only have to mark them in the flour, nothing else (remove the excess by hitting between two of them).
  2. We add to a large frying pan a good jet of extra virgin olive oil, which covers half a finger.
  3. We heat the extra virgin olive oil and mark the cheeks so that they do not lose their juice, they have to change the color to a tan tone.
  4. We remove the meat from the pan and transfer it to a plate. We reserve.
  5. Chop the red onions, leeks and garlic cloves into very fine pieces.
  6. We remove the skin from the carrots (optional, only if you like the touch it gives the sauce) and cut them into thin slices.
  7. In a large saucepan, pour the remaining oil from marking the cheeks and fry all the previous ingredients for about 15 minutes over low heat.
  8. When the sauce is well browned we add the cheeks and add the Port (on the subject of Porto, it is a choice to taste, I will not fool you, not all are the same, but I assure you that I have not tried any that were bad).
  9. Esperanza Rivas, sent me an email commenting that she had used Tawny-type golden port, dry white. I have not had the pleasure of trying it, but for her the recipe has been according to her words, ” much better than in some restaurants” , so be Porto red, red, golden or golden red, and with the sweetness, very sweet, sweet, semi dry, or extra dry, I assure you that the recipe will be delicious).

Cooking and final presentation of the cheeks in Porto

  1. Let it reduce to 50% over medium-low heat, about 30 minutes.
  2. We must stir during the process so that it does not stick to the casserole.
  3. We try salt and if necessary rectify. We can add a sweet touch with a little honey, it will do very well.
  4. We cover everything with water or meat broth (2 glasses approximately) and let it cook over low heat until the cheeks are tender, approximately 2 hours, stirring occasionally to control that the sauce does not stick to the casserole ( we don’t want the stew to spoil).
  5. When 20 minutes of cooking remain, we prepare the potatoes (cooked, steamed or fried) as you like.
  6. Serve very hot, sprinkling with a little parsley, oregano or thyme to give it a touch of color.
  7. Do not forget a good piece of bread, the sauce in this recipe is great.

You can see all the photos of the step by step in the next album.

Soothing Tips for Soothing Cheek Pads

  • In this recipe we have added 2 tablespoons of honey. It is a sweet spot that will give it a very good flavor, but when you try the sauce you will see if you need it.
  • If you prepare it the day before, the best way to heat it is to use the same saucepan over very low heat, moving occasionally so that it does not stick.
  • This dish should be served with potatoes (either steamed or fried), with a little white rice or simply with a few good pieces of bread, the sauce, which is glorious.
  • If the occasion deserves it, with a good chestnut puree . Ideally, they should be a single dish, preceded by a light salad as the only starter. I hope you like it and prepare it for these upcoming parties, you will see your guests … yummy.

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