- 2 1/2 pounds pork cheeks, cleaned and trimmed of all tough membranes
- 8 cloves garlic
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- Vegetable oil, as needed
- 1 cup flour, or more as needed for dusting
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 recipe Creole Dirty Rice, for serving
- Sliced green onion tops, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 325°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 even 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 1/2 hours. (Note: this will depend on the size of the 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 reserved for another purpose.)
Dust the cheeks lightly with flour and heat a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat.
When the pan is hot, add 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and, when the 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 the remaining cheeks, adding more vegetable oil and the remaining butter if necessary.
Serve the cheeks hot, with the Creole Dirty Rice and garnished with the green onions.
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