One day I was in a pizzeria waiting for my meal when I heard one of the customers complaining about the wait. The waiter said, do you want it fast or do you want it good? Same principle applies for a good homemade meal. Sometimes you just have to take your time and the more time you take the better it is. Nothing illustrates the point better than this dish. Taking the time to make these looooong and sloooowwwww cooked beef cheeks results in a tender, juicy, melt-in-your-mouth flavoursome meal. The best relationships only get better with time and that has certainly been true of my love affair with this dish, and a serve of silky smooth mashed potatoes on the side only makes it more enjoyable. That little combo will win over even the most standoffish, harshest of critics (not mentioning any one by name, mother). This is a minimum-effort dish which has maximum impact…
· 1.5 kg beef cheeks
· 3 tbsp olive oil
· 1 onion diced
· 3 celery stalk, diced
· 3 carrots, diced
· 5 garlic cloves, crushed
· ½ bunch fresh thyme (1 bunch is 10g)
· 4 dried bay leaves
· 1 ½ cups beef stock
· 2 ½ cups red wine (full bodied eg. cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
· Salt and pepper according to taste
This method is suitable for stovetop and oven
1. Cut off any large, fatty bits from beef cheeks. Pat dry then use 1 tsp of the salt and black pepper to season the beef all over.
2. Heat two tablespoons oil in a large heavy-based pot over high heat. Sear half the beef cheeks on each side until nicely browned. Remove beef cheeks onto a plate, repeat with remaining cheeks.
3. Turn down the heat to medium high and heat the remaining tablespoon of oil. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for three minutes until onion is translucent.
4. Add the celery and carrot, sauté for a further three minutes.
5. Pour the wine into the pot, and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to simmer for one minute.