Gnocchi with slow cooked pork cheeks, onions and pecorino

Who does not love gnocchi and slow cooked pork??? Well if you don’t you will after tasting this dish. You can substitute pork cheek for ribs or even osso bucco. I find cheek to be incredibly delicious, soft and melts in your mouth. Any pasta works well but gnocchi is also a winner.

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Serves 6

100 grams delicate extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon of lard (optional)
500g pork cheeks
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
3 bay leaves
3kg of white onions, sliced very thin
120 grams whole milk
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
Grated pecorino cheese
Grated Parmsean cheese

500g fresh gnocchi

Pork Rind Roll

1 pork rind
1 clove of garlic, sliced
7-8 leaves of flat parsley
About 1 tablespoon grated pecorino cheese
Salt, enough to cover the pork rind
Freshly ground black pepper, enough to cover the pork rind




To Make the pork rind roll: Stretch out the slab of pork rind. Sprinkle the slab with the garlic, parsley, cheese, salt and pepper. Roll up and tie with twine.

To Make the Sauce:

In a large saucepan heat the oil and lard and brown the meat.  Deglaze with the wine over high heat, scraping any bits from the bottom of the pan.  Lower the heat to medium and add the tomato paste and bay leaves. Cook for a few minutes to lightly toast the tomato paste.  Add the onions and the milk. Add the pork rind roll if using. Stir until everything is mixed together.

Cover with foil and cook on low heat until the onions no longer release any liquid. Lower to a simmer and cook until the mixture becomes a thick sauce and the colour becomes amber, 4-5 hours.  Remove the meat and slice/shred.  Add back to the sauce, cook pasta according to instructions and then add to the sauce. Garnish with a mix of grated parmigiano and pecorino cheeses.


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