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Beef Cheeks In Red Wine Gravy

Beef Cheeks – Sounds a bit too fancy you say? Go on, treat yourself!

Sounds complicated….How will I ever be able to put it together? Just give it a go! It’s so simple you’ll kick yourself for not trying it out sooner! Just 4 simple steps…

 

These slow cooked beef cheeks are so meltingly tender that you can eat them with a spoon. This recipe makes enough to serve 6 people, made with 6 small beef cheeks (or share 4 large ones). Leftovers are brilliant to turn into a quick ragu to toss through pasta or making a pie!

If you can’t find any beef cheeks just substitute with some chuck or braising steak and follow the same recipe.

Serve up your cheeks over a bed of creamy mash and a side of your favourite greens – we love cauliflower mash with broccolini – finish with a heavy dollop of your delicious red wine gravy over the top.

What You’ll Need

  • 1.5 kg beef cheeks (4 large or 6 small beef cheeks)
  • Medium to large onion (white, brown or yellow), roughly diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk , roughly diced (about 1 cup)
  • Large carrot , roughly diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 4 dried bay leaves (or 3 fresh bay leaves)
  • 1 cup / 250 ml beef stock
  • 2 cups / 500 ml red wine (go for full bodied wine like shiraz, cab sav, etc)

Slow Cooker Directions

  1. Sweat off the onions for a couple of minutes before adding the celery and carrots to the pan.
  2. Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker. Get that pan back on a high heat and seal/sear off those beef cheeks. Be sure to pat them dry from moisture and season with a little salt and pepper. Once you’ve seared them on all sides add the cheeks to the slow cooker – you may have to cook the cheeks in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan!
  3. Pour the wine into the fry pan and return to heat. Turn the heat up to high, bring to simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute (to cook out the wine a bit). Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so it mixes in with the wine.
  4. Pour the wine into the slow cooker, then all the remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).
  5. Cook in the slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or High for 6 hours for 250g size beef cheeks or Low for 10 – 12 hours or High for 8 hours for 350g beef cheeks – the longer the better!
  6. Open the slow cooker and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  7. Use a handheld stick blender or food processor to puree the braising liquid into a smooth sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour. If using a slow cooker without a sauté setting, pour the Sauce into a saucepan. If you have a sauté setting, leave it in the slow cooker.
  8. Put the saucepan over medium heat (or set the slow cooker to sauté setting) and bring to simmer.
  9. Simmer until the Sauce turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency – about 10 minutes.
  10. Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
  11. Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Stovetop and Oven Directions

  1. Get that pan back on a high heat and seal/sear off those beef cheeks. Be sure to pat them dry with paper towel first to remove excess moisture and season with a little salt and pepper. Once you’ve seared them on all sides set aside – you may have to cook the cheeks in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan!
  2. Sweat off the onions for a couple of minutes before adding the celery and carrots to the pan.
  3. Pour the wine into the pot / casserole dish (with the onion mixture) and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to simmer for 1 minute.
  4. Add remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).
  5. Put lid on and cook on the stove on medium low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or in the oven at 160C for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the cheeks are very tender. Turn at least once during cooking.
  6. Open the pot/casserole dish and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  7. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour.
  8. Bring the Sauce to simmer over medium heat and simmer until it turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency – about 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
  10. Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

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