A meal fit for a cool, rainy night
Serves 6
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Combine earthy mushrooms with succulent, flavourful beef and you’ll have yourself a meal fit for a cold, rainy night. Make it hearty with some braised cabbage as well as aromatic additions of bay leaves, parsley and more for a hit of fragrance.


  • 4 beef cheeks (1.6 kg)
  • 1 medium brown onion (150 g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 medium carrot (120 g), chopped coarsely
  • 1 stalk celery (150 g), trimmed, chopped coarsely
  • 8 clove garlic, bruised
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 cups (500 ml) dry red wine
  • 1 cup (250ml) tawny port
  • ¼ cup (35 g) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil
  • 2 cups (500 ml) beef stock
  • 1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 8 large portobello mushrooms (400 g), trimmed


  • 2 tbsps olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion (170 g), sliced thinly
  • ½ small savoy cabbage (600 g), shredded finely

Combine beef with vegetables, garlic, bay leaf, parsley, wine and port in large bowl, cover; refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 110 C.

Drain beef and vegetables, reserve marinade. Pat beef and vegetables dry with absorbent paper. Toss beef in flour to coat; shake off excess.


Heat half the oil in 6 litre (24 cups) flameproof dish; cook beef, in batches, until browned. Remove from dish.


Add vegetables to dish; cook, stirring, until browned lightly. Add reserved marinade, stock, dried mushrooms and paste; bring to the boil. Return beef to dish, season, cover; cook, in oven, 3½ hrs.


Heat remaining oil in large frying pan; cook portobello mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned lightly. Transfer to another ovenproof dish, cover; cook, in oven, for the last 1 hr  of beef cooking time.


Meanwhile, to make braised cabbage, heat oil in large saucepan; cook onion, stirring, until softened. Add cabbage, stir to combine; cook, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, about 5 mins or until cabbage is tender. Season to taste.


Remove beef and mushrooms from dishes; cover to keep warm. Strain cooking liquid into large heatproof jug; return to pan. Bring to the boil; boil, uncovered, until reduced by half.


Slice beef cheeks; serve topped with mushrooms and sauce, accompany with braised cabbage.

TIP Serve with mashed sweet potato or cannellini beans. Suitable to freeze at the end of step 5.

Photo: bauersyndication.com.au

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