Pork Cheeks with Pickled Onions, Mustard Seeds, and Daikon
This dish spotlights pork cheeks, an unsung but delicious cut that is just one of the ways winemaker and restaurateur André Mack showcases American wine and pork at his Brooklyn ham bar, & Sons. Giving pork cheeks a wet brine in the refrigerator followed by an hour in the pressure cooker renders tender, juicy, perfectly cooked meat. The unctuous and hearty meat is balanced by the fresh tang and pleasant crunch from the pickled onions and mustard seeds. They bring a vinegary bite to balance the rich and fatty pork; the onions retain their crisp-tender texture while the mustard seeds burst with juicy brine. The recipe makes more pickles than you will need immediately; keep the extra in the refrigerator to garnish hard-boiled or deviled eggs, or to add a punch of flavor to a ham or turkey sandwich. This is a good recipe project for a special weekend dinner. Be sure to start planning a few days ahead of time, to allow the pork cheeks their full two days of brining time. And take your time while cooking, especially to keep an eye on the jus as it cooks to ensure it doesn't over-reduce; as it thickens, the bubbling will slow down.