Beef cheeks. I've never cooked with them before, but understood that they were an outstanding ingredient-underused, cheap, full of flavour and meltingly gelatinous-& decided to give them a whirl. I've cooked them here slowly on a low heat with vegetables, wine and stock. They smell has been incredible all afternoon and the result is stunning. Meltingly tender, delicious beef. Try them if you haven't done so already. The kids said it was the best stew ever! I just didn't tell them what it was J
- 1kg beef cheeks
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 anchovies chopped
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- ½ bottle red wine
- 1 litres chicken stock
- 1 splash balsamic vinegar
- 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
- 1. Trim the beef cheeks and remove as much sinew as possible. Cut each cheek in half. Season well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based pan and brown the cheeks on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the vegetables, garlic, anchovies and a little extra oil if necessary. Stir around until they turn golden. Add the thyme and peppercorns and mix everything together. When all the vegetables are golden, add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the red wine and stir, scraping up all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan, then cook until the liquid is reduced and you have a sticky sauce - about 12-14 minutes.
4. Put the beef cheeks back in the pan and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil and cover with a circle of greaseproof paper. Cook the beef in the oven at 150C/130C fan/gas 2 for about 3 hours or until tender.
5. Once the cheeks are cooked add a splash of balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Carve the cheeks into smaller portions if necessary.
This is lovely if served with dumplings (175g self raising flour, 75g suet, season , add ‘just’ enough water to form in to about 12 dumplings). Pop on top of stew for 30 mins at 200 degrees C.
Also good with mashed potato and lots of steamed greens.
Seriously, the best beef stew you will have ever had!