Slow-cooked beef cheek in red wine


Slow-cooked beef cheek in red wine
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (approx 350g) beef cheeks, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • ½ stick of celery, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 500ml red wine (preferably a dry Lambrusco or Chianti)
  • 400g can whole tomatoes including juice, chopped
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  1. Heat 2 tbsp oil in an ovenproof casserole dish over a moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. While the oil is heating, pat the beef cheeks dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown the beef in batches on all sides for about 20 mins total, and transfer with tongs to a bowl. Pour off the fat from the pot, then add the remaining 2 tbsp oil and cook the onion, carrot, and celery over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened - about 10 mins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 160C/Gas 3. Stir the cocoa powder into the vegetable mixture, then add the wine and scrape up any brown bits. Increase the heat to high and boil until the liquid is reduced by half - about 10 mins. Return the cheeks (with any juices) to the pot and add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then braise, covered, in the middle of the oven until very tender - about 3hrs. You can then split into portions and freeze this until you’re ready for it. A brilliant holiday period staple.


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