Serves 2 to 3
Prep time 4 hours
Pork cheeks, 600g
Fennel hearts, 2
Puff pastry, store-bought, 1 roll
Unsalted butter, 50g
Red wine, 500ml
Sugar, 40g + surplus
Salt, as needed
Carrots, 2 large
Onions, 2 large
Garlic, 1 head
Bay leaf, 4 leaves
Rosemary, 3 sprigs
Season the pork cheeks with salt on both sides and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Cook the pork cheeks in a dry oven proof pan on a medium to high heat to render some fat and allow the pork to take on a beautiful golden brown colour.
When coloured, remove the pork cheeks from the pan and place onto a tray. Deglaze the pan with wine and leave the wine to reduce by half in volume.
Peel and chop the carrots, onions, garlic and any off cuts from the fennel and place them into the wine. To the wine also add the seared pork cheeks, rosemary sprigs, bay leaves and sugar ensuring the pork cheeks are fully submerged by the wine. Cover the pan with a baking sheet and a layer of foil and cook in the oven at 140 C for 3 hours or until tender.
Next peel and cut the apples into eighths lengthwise and place aside. Remove the outer layers of the fennel bulb and give it a good rinse.
Cut the fennel bulb into sizes roughly the size of the apples and set aside. Place the apple and fennel wedges into a mixing bowl, add enough sugar to create a fine layer as well as a good punch of salt and give them a good mix. Leave to sit for around 5 minutes.
Line a small tart pan with butter and alternate the fennel and apple segments, overlapping them. Place the puff pastry on top. Cut a small hole in the centre of the pastry to let any trapped air escape. Press the pastry tightly onto the ingredients.
Bake in a preheated oven set to 180 C for 30 minutes or until the pastry has been fully cooked and golden.
Once cooked leave the tart tatin to rest for 5 minutes and then flip it over to have the apples and fennel facing up. Remove the aromatics from the pork cheeks, reduce the wine sauce and serve half of the tart per person with the braised cheeks, sauce and a little mustard.