BUT it’s worth it. You’ll be rewarded with a ‘melts in your mouth’ full flavoured cut of beef. You won’t even need a knife!
I’ve cooked beef cheeks a few different ways over the years but I always come back to this recipe from the Movida cookbook – Rustica. It’s a keeper.
All of the ingredients are very easy to source except for the Pedro Ximenez sherry. You can get it at most decent bottle shops these days. Good bottle shops will have a range differing in price. For this recipe, a cheaper one is absolutely fine. You’re looking at around $27 for a 750ml bottle. Be sure not to use any other type of sherry, especially the dry ones. It has to be Pedro Ximenez to get the right results for this recipe.
The left over sherry is lovely to sip on after a meal. It’s sticky, sweet & raisiny in flavour and goes beautifully with dark chocolate. Or, pour a little over some good vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.
Movida’s Braised Beef Cheek in Pedro Ximenez on Cauliflower Puree
- 1.5 kg beef cheeks
- 125 ml olive oil
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 500 ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
- 500 ml red wine
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 185 ml cream
- 40 grams butter
Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any new sinew and silver skin. Season well.
Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic, onion and saute over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the sherry, wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and 500 ml water.
Reduce the heat as low as possible, add the beef cheeks, then cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart.
Meanwhile, put the cauliflower, cream and butter in a saucepan, season to taste with salt, then cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, or until very tender.
Place the cauliflower mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Keep the puree warm.
The sauce from the beef cheeks should by now be reduced and glaze like. It if needs further reducing, remove the cheeks from the pan, cover with foil to keep them warm, and simmer the sauce over high heat until nicely reduced.
Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pan; gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.
Serve the cheeks and their sauce on warm plates with the cauliflower puree.
Recipe from MoVida Rustica by Frank Camorra and Richard Cornish, published by Murdoch Books RRP