Slow Cooked Ox Cheek
Ox cheek has to be one of my favourite cuts! It's absolutely delicious when it's slow cooked, has a lovely fall apart texture and is pretty cheap! It's also quite low fat which is excellent as I'm on a bid to trim down a bit!
I served it here with some cheesy, parmesan polenta as a bit of a change from my normal mashed potato, and a slice of homemade Sourdough foccacia for a bit of crunch, but you could serve with mashed potato or with a few slices of a nice crusty baguette, it would be delicious.
A perfect winter warmer, let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Slow Cooked Ox Cheek
- 3 large ox cheeks
- 100 g of plain flour, seasoned with S&P
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large carrots, diced into 1 cm cubes
- 2 celery sticks, diced into 1 cm cubes
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 anchovies
- 2 tbsp of tomato puree
- 50 ml brandy (optional)
- 250 ml red wine
- 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 litre good quality beef stock
- Trim off any excess fat or straggly bits from the ox cheeks. Dice each cheek into around 5 even pieces, and toss lightly in the seasoned flour.
- Add some oil to a heavy bottomed large pan and heat through on a moderate heat. Add the ox cheek pieces (you should hear them sizzle when added to the pan) and brown each side nicely. This imparts so much flavour to the stew, so definitely don't skip this step. Once browned on all sides, remove the cheeks from the pan and add to a slow cooker.
- Next, add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook through, stirring every so often, for around 5 minutes until starting to soften. You don't want these to brown too much, so turn down the heat if they are colouring too easily. Once softened, add the garlic and the anchovies and fry for another couple of minutes.
- Next add the tomato puree to the pan, stir it up and cook for another couple of minutes to cook out the paste.
- Next, add the brandy to the pan to deglaze, stirring quickly, allowing it to bubble away for a minute or so. Then add the red wine, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves and bring the mixture up to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes then transfer to the slow cooker with the beef, careful not to burn yourself.
- Finally, top up the slow cooker with the hot beef stock and put the lid on. Leave the slow cooker on high for around 3 hours. The meat is ready once is falls apart easily when forked, but I like to keep it intact, serving up a couple of pieces per person and letting them have the joy of shredding it themselves.
- Before serving, remove the majority of the liquid from the slow cooker and add to a saucepan. Reduce it down on a medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes, to allow it to thicken up to make a thick, glossy gravy. Season to taste once thickened, and serve up with the beef, carrots and some mashed potato or cheesy polenta.