I can’t believe I’m going to confess this, but until earlier this year I had never cooked beef cheeks. And I have no idea why not, as they are so incredibly simple to make, and ALWAYS a crowd pleaser. And by crowd pleaser, I mean with the meatavorous men who reside in this house.
I was trawling through the pantry a few months ago and found a pack of The Stock Merchant’s master stock, and realised I should probably use it up. A quick peek at the recipes on their site and I was decided – beef cheeks it would be.
As it was also a chilly day the first time I made them, it was the perfect excuse to relocate my office to the dining table and sit in front of the oven for a few hours 🙂
What you need:
- olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1kg beef cheeks (this is usually 4-5 beef cheeks)
- 2 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp coriander seed
- 500ml pack of The Stock Merchant master stock
- 500ml chicken or beef stock
- salt to taste
- 300g mushrooms (optional)
What you do:
Preheat the oven to 140c.
In an oven-proof casserole dish (with a lid – I use a Le Creuset) over a medium heat on the stove, heat 1-2 tbs oil, then add the onion and garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add the beef cheeks, the spices and the stocks. Make sure the meat is submerged by the liquid. Bring to the boil, then pop on the lid and place in the oven. They will take about 3-4 hours to cook. I normally check them every hour or so. Taste and add salt if necessary (I find the stock is salty enough). About 30 minutes before serving add the mushrooms, if using.
You can serve with rice, mash or just with veggies.
The first time I made it there was a lot of liquid left after we had eaten the meat, so I left it to cool, then froze it.
Fast forward four months to last night… When I was wondering what to cook for dinner with a few girlfriends, I found the leftover stock and a pack of beef cheeks in the freezer. A quick trip to the butcher to buy a few more beef cheeks et voilá! I was in business. Super simple and quick to prepare dinner. Which was good, as my workday had imploded!
Even better, there were leftovers for tonight – and yes, I added a few extra beef cheeks to the excess stock and cooked them again today for dinner tonight and leftovers for lunch on the weekend. Unless I eat them for breakfast tomorrow…
P.S. Brown food is really, really, really hard to take pretty photos of.
P.P.S. You could probably just as easily make this in a slow cooker, but you might want to use less liquid – not really sure as I’ve never used one.
Note: This is not a sponsored post – I just love The Stock Merchant’s stocks as they have no nasties. Plus, master stock takes ages to make if you start from scratch, and I just don’t have the inclination!