Gaucho Smoked Pig Cheek Ragu

gaucho, pig cheek, ragu -

Gaucho Smoked Pig Cheek Ragu

Gaucho Smoked Pig Cheek Ragu


Cheeky piggy goodness in one pot with these Gaucho smoked pig cheeks.  Serve with hasselbacks and focaccia – that’s what we tucked into it with when Sue visited Oink Towers recently for lunch.  It’s a really tasty warming pot which will feed a lot of people.  Try it with Ox cheek and your favourite seasoning for different flavours and canned beans would work well in the ragu. It’s one pot wonder which will be perfect for afternoons and evenings around the fire and if you’re lucky, maybe leftovers for another time. This fed the A&O crew – there was none left!


Serves 6-8

Cooking time: 5-6 hours 

(allow 5 hours for smoking the cheeks)



8 pig cheeks

Gaucho seasoning


2 large onions, chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

2 red chillis, seeds removed & finely diced

1 x tin chopped tomatoes

1 x tin green puy lentils

2 tablespoons Tomato puree

Italian Stallion seasoning

Olive oil

Salt & Pepper

Juice of 1 lemon



What to do:


Trim your cheeks if needed and sprinkle generously with Gaucho seasoning.

Leave the cheeks marinate while you light your grill and prepare the rest of the ingredients.

We used the Kamado Joe BigJoe and had it set up for indirect cooking with just one deflector plate in. Dome temp 120C.


Place the seasoned pig cheeks into a tin (line it with foil as this makes it easier for cleaning) and sit the tin on the top grill over the deflector plate. These will take about 5 hours. You want the internal temp to reach 95C and they should pull easily when done.


Meanwhile, make the ragu.  Into a pot or heavy based saucepan pour in a glug of olive oil and add in the chopped onions. Sweat for a little while, add salt and pepper.  Add in the garlic and chilli and cook for a bit longer.  Pour in the tin of chopped tomatoes, lentils and tomato puree – rinse the tins out with water and pour this into the pot as well.  Add a sprinkle of Italian Stallion for extra herby citrus flavours.  Give it a good stir and this can just sit and simmer until the cheeks are ready.  Just keep stirring now and then and add a little more water if needed.


When the pig cheeks are done, pull them with two forks and tip them into the ragu along with any juices from the tin.  Add in the juice of one lemon.  Check for seasoning. Warm it all through for another half an hour to let those flavours mingle and then you’re ready to dive in! 

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