Cooking time: 1 hour
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 ½ - 3½ hours
Season the cheeks and dust lightly with the flour.
Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based casserole over a high heat and add the pork cheeks. Pan-fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Put the onion, garlic cloves, carrot and celery into the same pan and fry until dark golden, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves, thyme, sprigs, dried spices and the chopped tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, until the juices from the tomatoes have reduced down.
Return the seared cheeks to the pan and flambé: add the sherry and light quickly using a lighter or long matches. Add the remaining salt and when the liquid has reduced by about two thirds, stir in the beef stock cube along with 1 litre of water. Bring to the boil and cook at a fast simmer for 30 minutes.
Reduce the heat to low and leave to simmer gently for at least 2 hours – the cheeks may need longer, even up to 3 hours, to become really tender.
Some people say that marinating meat in red wine for 24 hours tenderizes it. I have done this literally hundreds of times but all I can say is that the meat tastes a bit more acidic and looks more purple. My suggestion is not to bother.
The ideal temperature at which to serve an Oloroso is at between 12 and 14ºC.
This is the most suitable wine to accompany red meat and game. It combines perfectly with meat stews and casseroles; especially gelatinous meat such as bull's tail or cheeks. The perfect match for wild mushrooms and well cured cheeses.
Serve it between 12° and 14° C in a white wine glass.
Ideal accompaniment for prolonging the sensation of intense flavours.
Its composition allows it to be stored in open bottles for months.