Nailing this delicate braised beef cheek will leave you a tender and luxurious cut of meat perfect for a warm, comforting dinner. Seasoned right, it will also soak up all the best flavours from your marinade, perched atop delicious puree consisting of carrot, mint, and decadent butter.
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) olive oil
- 4 beef cheeks (1.6 kg), trimmed
- 1 medium onion (150 g), chopped finely
- 1 medium carrot (120 g), chopped finely
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp white spelt flour
- 1⅓ cups (330 ml) dark beer
- ½ cup (125 ml) dry red wine
- ¼ cup (70 g) tomato paste
- 2 cups (500 ml) beef stock
- 2 cups (500 ml) water
- ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
MINTED CARROT PUREE
- 3 sprigs fresh mint, leaves removed, stems reserved
- 3 large carrots (540 g), sliced thinly
- 30 g (1 ounce) butter, chopped
- 3 cups (750ml) water
Heat half the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Season beef; cook, turning, for 5 mins or until browned all over. Remove from pan.
Heat remaining oil in same pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and rosemary; cook, stirring, for 10 mins or until vegetables soften.
Add flour; cook, stirring, until mixture bubbles and thickens. Add beer, wine, paste, stock, the water and beef; bring to the boil. Transfer to oven; cook, covered, for 3½ hrs or until beef is very tender and starting to fall apart. Season.
Meanwhile, make minted carrot puree.
Serve carrot puree topped with beef cheeks, drizzled with pan juices and sprinkled with mint.
MINTED CARROT PUREE
Place carrot, butter, the water and reserved mint stems in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low; cook for 15 mins or until carrots are tender.
Discard stems. Drain, reserving cooking liquid. Blend or process carrot mixture with 2 tbsps of the reserved cooking liquid, adding more cooking liquid if necessary, until smooth. Stir in chopped mint; season to taste.
TIP Serve with braised greens, such as kale, cavolo nero, cabbage or spinach leaves.