Since starting my blog I’ve become addicted to visiting blogs every morning. I like this for the sense of community I feel from being invited into a part of your lives but also because I love the sneak peek into your kitchens and seeing what you’re putting on your table. I find this inspiring and in the two years I have been blogging I have learned so much from all of you and I continue to learn so I find it encouraging as well as exciting.
Last week Lorraine reviewed a restaurant and she showed a dish of ramen with a roasted pork spare rib lying across the bowl. The spare rib looked so good that I immediately wanted one so I picked up the phone, invited friends for dinner, went to the butcher for spare ribs and served them to my guests that night.
This morning Celia posted a chicken laksa she made and again, all inspired, tonight we’ll be sitting down to a similar chicken laksa.
But a few days ago I saw on Rebecca’s blog slow-cooked beef cheeks Balinese-style where the cheeks are cooked in coconut milk. It occurred to me that I’d never cooked beef cheeks before as I always thought they would take too long – some recipes say you have to cook them overnight or all day! Rebecca said you could have these on the table in half that time.
I decided to give it a go. I went to the butcher and bought beef cheeks but as I was stocked up on red wine (after visiting the Mudgee Food and Wine Fair), I thought instead of going Balinese-style, I’d go more Italian-cuisine and so I cooked mine in red wine with a lot of mushrooms.
I had them in the oven by 1pm and by 6pm they were ready for dinner. An early dinner I know but Carl had to head out to a meeting at seven and so I thought I’d better feed him before he had to disappear.
I served the beef cheeks on top of a bed of wet polenta which was the perfect contrast for the richness of the beef. The meat was so tender and soft it just fell apart as soon as I gave it the slightest nudge.
Archie and his girlfriend came for dinner and loved the beef cheeks then swallowed a few protein balls for dessert. Arabella missed out because she was working but she didn’t mind because she’s not keen on meat. This is not the sort of meal Alfie would have liked so earlier and after his swimming lesson, I took him out for dinner (leaving the beef cheeks slowly cooking) where he enjoyed a burger.
So I’d say everyone was happy.
Leftovers disappeared into this morning’s lunch boxes.
So I’d like to thank all my blogging buddies for the wonderful inspiration you give me. You’re keeping this family very well fed.
Slow-Roasted Beef Cheeks with Mushrooms and Red Wine
Degree of Difficulty: 3/5
Cost: Beef cheeks are a cheaper cut of meat. You can buy them for around $5.00 each depending on size. I bought 6 for $32.00.
- 1/4 cup flour with some seasoning added
- 1.2kg of beef cheeks (around 5 or 6 beef cheeks)
- 2tbspns olive oil
- 2 brown onions, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 cup red wine
- 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 2tbspns tomato paste
- 2 tbspns brown sugar
- a handful of fresh thyme, leaves stripped from stems
- 30g butter
- 12 button mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth and halved
- 12 Swiss brown mushrooms, wiped clean with a damp cloth
- 6 Shiitake mushrooms
Pre-heat oven to 140C.
Coat beef cheeks in seasoned flour and shake away excess.
Heat a large casserole dish with a secure lid over medium heat. Add olive oil. When heated, add beef cheeks in a single layer and brown on both sides. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add onions, carrots and garlic and cook until softened. Return beef cheeks to casserole dish. Pour in wine and allow alcohol to evaporate. Pour in beef stock, tomato paste, brown sugar and thyme and bring to the boil. Season.
Meanwhile, take a medium-sized frying pan and place over medium heat. Add butter and when melted add mushrooms and lightly saute. Add mushrooms to the casserole dish.
Put lid on casserole dish and place in the oven for 4-5 hours. Serve on heated plates with wet polenta.
This recipe has been adapted from a recipe found on Best Recipes.
If you’d like to try beef cheeks Balinese style, hop over to The Intolerant Chef.
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