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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Beef Cheeks Braised with Port and Capsicum

Sounds gross, tastes unreal. I have bought these in different states in the past - as a whole strip that I needed to trim, as a 'fillet' and, this time as medallions. Good gear non the less, its cheap and tasty. You can do a great deal with them, treat them like you would shanks or big cuts of casserole meat if it suits, be simple or be complicated, it doesn't matter. Use whatever herbs you can get your hands on, in this recipe I used thyme, parsley and some basil flower/seeds from a flowering basil plant - the flavour is great and is more robust.

4 beef cheeks
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 handful of chopped herbs
1 capsicum in small dice
2 or 3 cloves of garlic sliced
1 onion in small dice
1 bunch silverbeet washed, deveined and chopped
1 cup port
1/2 cup chicken stock
Minced parsley
Grated Parmesan
1 clove of garlic minced
Extra virgin olive oil
Tomato bread

Preheat an oven to 140C. Heat some oil to medium high in a large heavy based saucepan that has a lid. Oil and season the beef cheeks and sear them in the pan. Remove the cheeks when they have nice colour on both sides, add in the onion, capsicum, garlic, the sliced garlic and chopped herbs then deglaze the pan with the port and stock. Scrape up any sediment while mixing all of the ingredients well. Nestle the beef cheeks into the mixture, add the lid and place in the oven for about 3 hours.

After 3 hours remove the cheeks to a clean plate and cover. Add the silverbeet and minced garlic to the saucepan, mix in and bung back in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and pour in any resting juice from the meat and check for seasoning, adding more salt/pepper as necessary. Spoon the silverbeet/capsicum mixture into warmed bowls and add a beef cheek to the top of each. Grate on some Parmesan, sprinkle on parsley and drizzle on a little extra virgin. Serve with tomato bread.

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