Due to real life being both difficult and hectic at the moment, I am guilty of neglecting my blog at the minute so I apologise for that now.
Hectic and difficult mean only one thing for me, slow cooked comfort food and what better than beef stew? Beef stew made from ox cheek in lots of red wine!
2 Beef cheeks
1 bottle of red wine
3 garlic cloves
Handful of sliced mushrooms
First of all marinade the cheeks in 300ml of the red wine with chopped garlic cloves, if you have any thyme this would also be a good addition as is a healthy dose of cracked black pepper. I left mine overnight but anything from an hour upwards will be fine.
Dice your carrots and finely slice the onion and then fry of in a little butter or oil until softened, then add the bacon and mushroom. At this point you can fry the cheeks to brown them but I never find this a vital step. Add the meat and marinade and bring to the boil, stir well, add the tin of tomatoes and enough wine to cover and then cook on a low heat for 6-8 hours. You can probably use a slow cooker but I cook mine in a stock pot on top of the woodburner. In the end it cooked for 10 hours but as it is not a fierce heat that was fine, alternatively you can cook for 3-4 hours on a low gas in the oven but you will need to check it doesn’t dry out.
Serve with creamy mash. Fairly quick to prepare, the slow cooking takes out all the headache and you end up with a meltingly tender mouthful of gorgeousness. If you are frightened of cooking beef cheeks, there really is no need, they make the richest stew and all they really need is a lot of time. The fat adds to the flavour but if they are very fatty you can ask your butcher to trim, or do it yourself at home.