Cooking time: 4h15
I like to use Carnaroli rice for its balance: it absorbs flavors well and loses little starch, ensuring perfect cooking. Carnaroli comes from Novara and Vercelli, two towns between Milan and Turin that contribute to Italy's status as Europe's largest rice-producer. Carnaroli rice is particularly suitable for risottos because of its amylum starch-rich grains, which contributes to its notable firmness.
Cooking the pork cheeks
- Clean and chop the vegetables, brown them with some oil and aromatic herbs in a frying pan; set aside.
- Season the pork cheeks with salt and pepper and brown on both sides. Pour off the excess oil, then cook the pork cheeks with 100 ml (6 tbsp.) red wine, the broth and reserved vegetables. Cook for 15 minutes and allow to cool.
- Place the liquid, pork cheeks and vegetables into a vacuum packet and cook for 4 hours in a low oven (90° C/200° F).
- Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan and add the sliced leeks. Cook over low heat, add the broth very slowly and cook the leeks to a tartare.
- Grease four molds and line the bottoms with parchment (cut to fit the molds) and put in the leek tartare. Set aside.
Pork cheek sauce:
- After cooking the pork cheeks, strain the liquid into a saucepan and reduce to 1/3.
- Take 100 ml (6 tbsp.) full-bodied red wine, reduce it over the heat, add 30 ml (1 oz.) sapa (cooked grape must), reduce again lightly and add the liquid from the pork cheeks.
- Cook for 10 minutes and strain.
Making the risotto:
- Put clarified butter into a saucepan, add the rice, toss it and add the broth.
- Cook for about 18 minutes, remove from the heat and emulsify with butter and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.
- Put the risotto into the molds and set aside for 2 minutes.
- Turn the risotto out of the molds onto four soup plates.
- Cut the two pork cheeks into 12 pieces.
- Put 3 pieces of pork cheek onto each plate, add the sauce and serve immediately.
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