Braised Beef Cheeks
Best done in a potjie, but we have also provided an option for an oven casserole.
Serves 6 People
4 x beef cheeks, trimmed
4 x Tbs vegetable oil
2 x large carrots cut into chunks
2 x medium onions chopped
20cm stick celery chopped
4 x cloves garlic chopped
1 x cup red wine
½ x cup sherry
100g of passata or ½ tin chopped tomatoes or 4 sundried tomatoes quartered
1 x beef stock cube
1 x cup water
4 x sprigs of fresh thyme (1Tbs dried)
2 x bay leaves
150g mushrooms (wild, ceps or porcini preferable)
2 x anchovy fillets (optional)
1 x tsp salt
2 x tsp coarse black pepper
3/4 x cup chopped Italian parsley
2 x cloves garlic finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
Prepare hot coals or preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 3.
Season the cheeks with a little salt and pepper.
Add 2Tbs oil to potjie (deep pan or pot on the stove).
When hot, add the beef cheeks and sear on all sides. Once seared remove the cheeks from the potjie (or transfer to a casserole dish if cooking in the oven).
In the same potjie, add 2 Tbs oil, fry the onion, garlic, carrots, mushrooms and celery over moderate heat until caramelised. Add both the red wine and sherry to the pan, stir well and simmer for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol.
Add the water, beef stock cubes, passata, bay leaves, thyme, anchovies, salt, pepper and bring to the boil.
Add cheeks back to the potjie and submerge. (If cooking in the oven, add the mixture to the cheeks in the casserole dish, put the lid on and into the oven).
Place a lid on the potjie, reduce heat to a slow simmer.
Cook for approximately 2.5 – 3 hours until the beef cheeks are tender.
If desired, add chopped green beans or peas 10 minutes before taking off the fire.
Serve with mash potato and a good sprinkle of Gremolata.