Ox cheek is one of Alison's favourite foods. It has a great flavour and is also one of the cheaper cuts of beef.
It does require long, slow cooking – making it a perfect candidate for the slow cooker – but your patience will be well rewarded.
You'll need to order it from your friendly butcher or from the person behind the meat counter in your supermarket as it's not usually on display.
If you can't get ox cheek, it works well with gravy beef too, although it's not as cheap.
BRAISED OX CHEEK AND BEER CASSEROLE
For 6-8 servings:
about 2kg ox cheeks (or gravy beef)
1/4 cup plain flour
1-2 Tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups fresh or flat beer or stout
4 tsp dark soy sauce
2-3 bay leaves (optional)
Cut each ox cheek into several slices and place on a sheet of baking paper. Sprinkle the meat with the flour, turning the pieces so they are evenly coated.
Brown the floured slices on both sides in a large frypan containing just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. While the meat browns, coat the inside of the bowl of a large slow cooker with non-stick spray. Cut the browned meat into bite-size pieces and put in the slow cooker.
Add the remaining ingredients to the cooker and stir to mix. Cover and cook for 6-7 hours on high.
If you don't have a slow cooker, brown the meat as described above, then combine all the ingredients in a large, heavy casserole dish. Cover tightly then bake at 150C for about 3-4 hours or until the beef is tender.
If the gravy seems thin when the meat is cooked, stir in a little cornflour and water mixed together to make a paste.
Serve with mashed potatoes and colourful vegetables, or on rice, with a salad alongside.
Refrigerate leftovers until required.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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