This cut is simply spectacular. A firm favourite at the Isle of Wight Meat Co and arguably the best cut for a luxurious winter stew.
The cheek is one of the hardest working muscles on the animal (for obvious reasons,) and as a result it is packed full of flavour. However to un-lock the flavour and gelatinous textures it needs to go low and slow for upwards of 4 hours.
It’s only a guide, like all braises feel free to add your own twist – we tried the addition of star anise recently, with great results.
- 2 x Ox cheeks (about 1kg)
- Seasoned flour
- 2 x tbsp olive oil
- 50g butter
- 4 x carrots, diced
- 1 x onion, chopped
- 1 x celery stick, finely diced
- 4 x garlic cloves, sliced
- 350ml red wine
- 400ml beef stock
- 2 x sprigs of thyme
- 1 x bay leaf
- Trim any excess sinew off the off cheeks and chop into large chunks (about six pieces). Dust each piece with seasoned flour.
- Put a large casserole dish on the hob and add the olive oil on a moderate-high heat.
- Brown the ox cheeks in batches and set aside (add extra oil if needed).
- Melt the butter in the pan and sweat the onions down for 5-6mins (until translucent).
- Add the carrots, celery and garlic and cook for another 3 mins. Season.
- Pour in the red wine along with the stock bring to a simmer.
- Add two sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf. Season.
- Cover and cook in the oven for 3-4hrs (160°C)
- Remove from the oven, shred the ox cheeks with forks and serve with buttery mash potato and greens.
The amount of stock reduction may vary so keen an eye on it and top up/reduce down accordingly.