Cheeky and rich winter warmer. Will hold it's own against a McLaren Vale or Barossa Shiraz.
4 pieces Beef cheek
1 stick Celery
1 Bay leaves
1 Sprig Thyme
250ml Veal Jus
½ bottle Red wine
¼ bottle Ruby port
2 large Potatoes
4 large Onions
75ml Olive Oil
Trim the beef cheeks and seal in a heavy based pan until dark golden on all sides. Remove and reserve and season with salt and pepper.
Peel and dice the carrot, celery and onion, crush the garlic and caramelize until golden.
Add the beef pieces back into the pan and throw in the thyme, bay leaves, a good pinch of salt and a few turns of freshly milled pepper.
Deglaze with a good slouch of red wine and port. Reduce by half add the veal jus and stock. Bring to the boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Cover and place into a slow oven 140C for 4 hours, when the beef is tender, remove from the liquid and reserve.
Strain and reduce the stock until you achieve a good beef and red wine flavour. The sauce should not be too sticky but with enough body to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust with more red wine as a reduction if necessary or a gastric of sugar and red wine vinegar if the sauce is not sweet enough.
Scrub the spuds under running water to remove any dirt, dry and place on bed of rock salt approx 5mm thick – place into moderate oven 180C until the skins are crisp and the potato is fluffy inside.
Pass through the mesh of a fine sieve quickly and place into a heavy based pot.
Add a splash of boiling milk a sprinkle of salt and add half the butter.
Whisk vigorously until smooth and creamy add the remaining butter to enrich and stiffen the puree. Reserve warm.
Peel and slice the onions finely and add a splash of oil to the pot. Start on a low heat to extract the sugars from the onions as they begin to wilt and soften. Add a pinch of salt a sprig of thyme.
Increase the heat a notch and begin to brown and caramelize the onions, you should smell lovely sweet onion aromas. Add a splash red wine and reduce until almost gone.
The onions should be soft, deep red and jammy in consistency.
To serve: place a piece of beef cheek into a bowl, pile a spoon of the red onion marmalade onto the beef and add a quenelle of mash to the back of the plate. Sauce and serve.
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