Braised Beef Cheeks
- 4 beef cheeks
- 3 tablespoon plain flour
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil extra
- 1 leek, chopped into 1cm dice
- 1 onion, chopped into 1cm dice
- 3 cloves of garlic, squashed
- 1 carrot, chopped into 1cm dice
- 2 celery stalks, chopped into 1cm dice
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
- 2/3 cup tomato passata
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 6 juniper berries
- 1 star anise
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1-2 litres of veal stock, heated to simmering point
- 1 teaspoon sugar
With the membrane side of the beef cheek close to the chopping board,use a zigzag motion with a sharp knife between the membrane and cheek. Discard membrane.
Dust the beef cheeks with flour and in a shallow pan, heat the oil to medium and brown the beef cheeks on both sides, set aside.
In a heavy based braising pan, heat the remaining oil and sauté the leek, onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt and cracked pepper. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute then add the rosemary, sage and tomato passata. Cook for 1 minute before adding the vinegar, soy sauce, juniper berries, star anise and thyme. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to deglaze the dish, then place the beef cheeks on top of the vegetables and cover with the stock.
Cover with baking paper then foil and place in an oven at 160 C for 3 hours or until the cheeks are very soft to the touch.
To make the jus, strain off the braising liquid into a small pan, skim the oils off the top and discard the oil. Add the sugar to the jus and simmer until thick and glossy.
Delicious with mashed spuds seasoned with a little nutmeg.