Beef or pork cheeks are a cheap cut of meat usually used for mincing. Now, with the slow cooking movement really getting popular, these cheaper cuts are being made more available from your craft butcher. I use the award winning Tuites of the Bullring, here in Drogheda. My Grandad was a craft butcher who slaughtered his own meat. I have a massive respect for craft butchers and use them when I can.
Cooking these cuts couldn’t be easier. With a steady heat and a couple of hours you will produce meat that you could eat with a spoon. It literally melts in your mouth.
2 beef cheeks
1 cut of black pudding
2 cloves garlic
1 celery stalk
1 beef stock cube/jelly capsule
400ml red wine
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 tbsp thyme
1 star anise
Season meat and cut into manageable pieces. Add some oil to a large casserole pot. I use an enamel dutch oven. Brown off meat in batches. Don’t crowd your pot. Set browned meat aside. Keep one carrot for boiling. Now add in finely chopped celery,carrot,leek,onion and garlic into pot. Add extra oil if needed. Add thyme,peppercorns,tomato puree and bay leaves. Soften veg. Add wine now to deglaze crust off the bottom of the pot. Reduce wine down to a sauce. Add back in the meat. Cover the meat with beef stock. Bring to the boil. Put cover on pot and place in preheated oven at 150C for 3 hours. With a little oil place 2 garlic cloves on a tray into oven. Once roasted add to a pestle and mortar with a little salt and mash. Boil potatoes and make mash using some butter and milk. While boiling spuds place black pudding in a bamboo steamer over pot. Stir in roasted garlic into potato mash and mix until creamy. Boil one carrot in water with a knob of butter,sugar and star anise. Take some of the liquid from dutch oven and reduce down to a sauce. Add some balsamic vinegar and worcestershire sauce with a knob of butter to the reduction. Gently place pieces of meat into this reduction and glaze meat. Now plate up the dish. You can use the reduction as a gravy. Enjoy.
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