I am not usually squeamish about touching raw meat but I must admit this did feel a bit wrong, maybe just because its not a meat I have used before. I have always wanted to give this a go though as I love beef that has been cooked until it is falling apart I spotted cheeks for £1 each in Morrisons last week so bought a couple, looking back I should probably have bought 2 cheeks per person as they do get smaller during the cooking process.
Do not cook this on too high a heat or it will not work. Low and slow…. is the key
4 beef cheeks
2 tbsp olive oil
8 mushrooms halved
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 large onions – 1 diced and one sliced
4 large cloves of garlic
2 sticks celery chopped
5 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tbsp tomato purée
½ bottle red wine
1 litre beef stock
a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce
Cut the cheeks in half and season well with salt and pepper. Brown the cheeks on all sides in a frying pan with oil and set aside.
Add the vegetables and garlic into the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until going soft. Add the fresh thyme and a few grinds of black pepper and mix together. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomato paste and cook for another 2 minutes.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine and then cook until the liquid reduces to around a quarter.
Put the cheeks back into the pan and add the stock and a teaspoon of salt.
Bring to the boil, then cover and cook the in the oven at 150C/130C fan/gas 2 for 2 hours 30 minutes until the meat is falling apart.
If the sauce isn’t thick enough. remove the meat and cook the sauce in a pan over a high heat until it thickens then replace the meat.
When done, check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary then add a splash of Worcestershire sauce and serve with creamy mashed potato and seasonal veg.