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Smoked and Confit Pig Cheek by Chef Gilmore

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Recently added to Quay's menu, this fantastic dish has very interesting flavors and textures. Slow cooked pig cheeks combined with shiitake mushrooms, shaved scallops, Jerusalem artichoke crisps, and butter infused with juniper berries, jamon and bay leaves. After being cooked for 8 hours, the pig cheeks are cold smoked using a device such as the Smoking Gun. Before serving, the smoked pig cheeks are confit in clarified butter infused with juniper berries, jamon and bay leaves.

This combination of tender pig cheeks, buttery seafood, earthy mushrooms and crispy artichokes is sure to be a hit with everyone. The exciting blend of textures and flavors are trademarks of Chef Peter Gilmore of Quay restaurant in Sydney, Australia. Quay is the most awarded restaurant in Australia and is listed in The World's 50 Best Restaurants. Chef Gilmore enjoys celebrating the freshness of each ingredient and uses produce grown locally just for him. Watch Chef Peter Gilmore in the video below in which he shares his inspiration behind the Smoked and Confit Pig Cheek dish.

Smoked and Confit Pig Cheek by Quay's Chef Peter Gilmore


- 2 whole Berkshire pig cheeks

- 500ml (17 oz) lightly salted chicken stock

- 800ml (27 oz) clarified butter

- 3 fresh bay leaves

- 10 juniper berries

- 10 slices jamon

- 250g (9 oz) fresh shiitake mushrooms

- 8 large sea scallops

- 16 Jerusalem artichokes

- 300ml (10 oz) grapeseed oil

- 1 bunch garlic chive flowers


Pig Cheek Preparation

1 - Blanch the two pig cheeks in boiling salted water for 1 minute.

2 - Remove and allow to cool.

3 - Place the pig cheeks in a large cryovac bag (vacuum bag).

4 - Add the salted chicken stock.

5 - Seal the bag with a gentle amount of vacuum. If you don't have a vacuum chamber, use a resealable bag and submerge the bag in a bath of cold water to displace the air before sealing it. If you want to use a clamp-style vacuum sealer, freeze the liquid first.

6 - Steam the jowls at 90 °C  (194 °F) for 8 hours. Or set up your sous vide bath at this temperature.

7 - Alternatively you could simmer the jowls in a greater amount of chicken stock in a casserole dish in the oven at 90 °C  (194 °F) for 8 hours but you will need to top up the stock so the cheeks are submerged in liquid.

8 - Remove the cryovac bags from the steamer or sous vide bath and submerge in a bath of iced water to rapidly cool the jowls.

9 - Once completely cold, cut away all the skin and fat around the central piece of meat, leaving just 5mm (less than 1/4 in) of fat on top of the meat.

10 - Cut the meat into 8 pieces, 3cm (1.18 in) wide by 5cm (13.97 in) long.

11 - Set up a cold smoker (such as the Smoking Gun) with maple wood chips and smoke the cheek pieces for 5 minutes. They should be lightly perfumed with smoke.

12 - Cover and refrigerate the jowl until required.

Infused Butter Preparation

1 - Place 500ml (17 oz) of clarified butter in a small saucepan.

2 - Heat to 70 °C (158 °F).

3 - Add the sliced jamon and juniper berries to the butter.

4 - Bruise the bay leave and add them to the butter.

5 - Reduce the heat to 40 °C (104 °F) and infuse for 30 minutes.

6 - Remove from the heat and allow the butter to cool at room temperature.

7 - Strain the butter and discard the solids.

8 - Reserve until required. The butter will last in the fridge for several days.

Jerusalem Artichoke Preparation

1 - Wash the Jerusalem artichokes in plenty of cold water, removing any dirt from the skins.

2 - Steam the Jerusalem artichokes until well cooked.

3 - While the Jerusalem artichokes are still warm, cut them in half lengthwise.

4 - Remove the skin with a small paring knife, keeping the skin as intact as possible.

5 - Scrape the inside of the skin gently to remove any flesh that is still attached to the skin.

6 - Allow the skins to dry at room temperature for an hour or so and then pat dry with a clean cloth.

7 - Heat 300ml (10oz) of grapeseed oil and 300ml (10oz) of clarified butter together in a medium saucepan to 150-160 °C (302-320 °F).

8 - Fry the artichoke skins gently until crisp and golden.

9 - Drain on paper and reserve.

Scallops Preparation

1 - Slice the scallops into 8 thin horizontal slices.

2 - Peel the shiitake mushrooms by hand, removing the brown skin.

3 - Slice the mushrooms across into thin 2mm (0.04 in) thick slices, reserve.


1 - Warm 350ml (12 oz) of the infused butter in a saucepan to 70 °C (158 °F).

2 - Place the jowl pieces in the butter, making sure they are submerged.

3 - Heat for 6 or 7 minutes at 70 °C (158 °F).

4 - Meanwhile gently sauté the shiitake mushrooms in a frying pan with 100ml (3.38oz) of the infused butter until a light golden brown.

5 - Remove the mushrooms from the pan.

6 - Season and keep warm.

7 - Allow the fry pan to cool down slightly.

8 - One minute before you are ready to serve, warm the scallops in the fry pan with the residual butter from the mushrooms.

9 - Season with a little salt.

10 - Remove the jowl from the butter and place a piece in the center of each serving plate.

11 - Top each cheek with the mushrooms and scallops.

12 - Brush the fried Jerusalem artichokes with the remaining infused butter.

13 - Place 4 crisp artichoke chips on top of each cheek.

14 - Garnish with garlic chive flowers and serve.

Thank you Chef Gilmore for sharing this unique recipe with us!