BRAISED PORK CHEEKS

THIS IS A FAIRLY STRAIGHT FORWARD BRAISE, USING PORK CHEEKS WHICH ARE ONE OF THOSE PERFECT BRAISING CUTS — DENSE WITH LITTLE FAT AND UNIFORM IN SIZE.  IF YOU’RE SQUEAMISH ABOUT THE WORD “CHEEKS” OR CAN’T FIND THEM AT YOUR LOCAL BUTCHER, YOU CAN SUBSTITUTE SHOULDER OR EVEN LEG.  WHAT MAKES THIS PARTICULAR RECIPE SPECIAL IS THE PORK/DUCK STOCK WHICH CAME ABOUT BY CIRCUMSTANCE.  WHEN I BOUGHT A DUCK AT SHUN LEE POULTRY IN CHINATOWN, THEY WERE ALSO SELLING PORK BONES.  SO AFTER THE DUCK WAS CONSUMED, I DUMPED THE CARCASS IN WITH THE PORK BONES AND ENDED UP WITH PERHAPS THE MOST FLAVORFUL STOCK I’VE EVER MADE.  THE ROAST DUCK GIVES IT DEPTH, THE PORK BONES A SUBTLE UMAMI TASTE.  BUT IF YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE BOTHERING TO MAKE THE STOCK, A COMBINATION OF CHICKEN AND BEEF STOCK WILL DO NICELY.  IF, HOWEVER, YOU WANT TO FULL FLAVOR OF THIS DISH, WAIT TILL YOU ROAST A DUCK AND MAKE THE STOCK, WHICH CAN BE FROZEN IN CONTAINERS FOR THE DAY THOSE PORK CHEEKS SHOW UP AT YOUR BUTCHER.
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