Braised Beef Cheeks

Mar 3, 2015 by

I’m a new convert to slow cooking. My sister won a Crock Pot and passed it around the family until someone thought of me. I was thrilled as I had been thinking of buying one. I love slow cooked dishes but I hate the waste of electricity having the oven on for hours. One day I will be able to afford an Aga.

But for now I’m having fun experimenting. So far I have done stews, a beef Malay and the most delicious pork shoulder or as it’s now (trendily) known, pulled pork.

Pork shoulder cooked overnight

It just takes a little bit of organisation as you do need to seal the meat and vegetables on a pan first. Although the booklet that came with it said the actual pot part can be put on the hob, I haven’t chanced that yet. You need a lot less liquid as there is no evaporation.

So to the beef cheeks. They are difficult enough to find but you should be able to order them from a good butcher. They cost about €3-4 each and mine weighed 350g. Here we would eat one each but you may feed more.

Braised Beef Cheeks in Red Wine

2 beef cheeks
Half a bottle of drinkable red wine. (don’t use anything you couldn’t drink)
1 large red onion
2 carrots
2 fat cloves of garlic
Stick of celery
4 Bay leaves
Spring of fresh thyme
Salt and pepper.

Put the cheeks and vegetables in a bowl and pour the wine over. Season and put somewhere cool for 24 hours.
Next day, remove the cheeks, dry them with kitchen paper. Heat a frying pan until smoking hot and put some rapeseed oil on it (don’t use olive oil as it will burn).Seal the cheeks hard on both sides. Get plenty of colour on them.

Remove cheeks and put into slow cooker. Lift the veg out of the marinading liquid with a slotted spoon and sauté them on the pan. Add to beef in slow cooker and pour the wine over. I cooked them for 8 hours on low. If using a conventional oven cook for 4 hours but you may need to add extra wine. You can also cook on the hob in a casserole.

When they are cooked. Switch the cooker off and leave them to sit for 24 hours.

When you want to serve them re-heat them slowly and serve with tagliatelle or creamy mash.

There is nothing nicer than coming home on a cold evening and smelling dinner.

Tip: If you have some liquid left as I had, leave it overnight to get gelatinous and next day transfer into a tub to freeze. It will make a really good addition to a gravy.

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