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Monday, 3 June 2013

How to cook BEEF CHEEKS

These succulent BEEF CHEEKS were a result of overnight cooking in our slow cooker. We served with celeriac mash, spring cabbage and our home made WILD GARLIC GNOCCHI. This would be equally as tasty served with plain mash and your favourite vegetables.
We ate the leftovers in a roll at lunch time today.
The beef has more depth of flavour than shin of beef. So if you are after a rich meaty dish, then this is one for you.
Are the restaurants keeping this tasty budget cut of meat to themselves? At around £6 per kilo I've yet to see it on the supermarket shelves. Our butcher was very obliging though, and we ordered four whole beef cheeks, believing one per person was correct. We soon realised we were wrong - and one beef cheek would serve two. Fortunately, they were vacuum packed in pairs. Like most beef casseroles, this is not too high in calories. Here's our very easy recipe:

SLOW BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS
Ingredients - serves 4
TO COOK
1.5 kg beef cheeks (approx two cheeks)
250ml red wine
50ml sherry or port
one bayleaf
one star anise
garlic clove - 1 or 2 to taste
stock veg - chopped onion/celery/leek/carrot
TO FINISH
teaspoon redcurrant jelly
cornflour
salt/pepper
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Place the above ingredients (excluding redcurrant jelly and cornflour) into a slow cooker. Do not add salt and pepper at this stage.

Cook on high setting overnight. 

In the morning turn the slow cooker off and let the meat cool in the liquid.

Once cool, scrape off the fat around the beef and set aside.

Strain the liquid into a saucepan.

Reduce liquid then add salt/pepper to taste. The sauce will become stronger the more you reduce it. Keep tasting it until you reach the desired taste/consistency. 

Add a little redcurrant jelly (or other sweetener such as honey) if you feel the sauce is a bit tart.

Thicken sauce with a little cornflour if you need to.

When you are ready to eat, portion up the beef and place into the sauce and reheat. Put a lid on the saucepan and gently simmer until the meat is piping hot.
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REMEMBER: We all have a calorie allowance - do you know yours?
We began our weight loss journey in January 2011 - and began our blog in June 2011. Here's a link to the first post. (here's the link).
We like to post our main meals to show you what CAN be eaten. You won’t find us posting every last morsel though – but we hope this gives you an idea of how far calories can go! I'm currently going through the photographs and replacing them with more website friendly versions which will allow the blog to load quickly. 
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