Beef cheeks in red wine sauce with cauliflower purée

Beef cheeks in red wine sauce with cauliflower purée

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Generally people think that beef cheeks are a winter dish, but I have to say, I love them all year round. This is an easy recipe, but it takes a little time as you need to marinate the cheeks overnight. It’s really worth it though, to get those deep, earthy flavours.

I strongly suggest that you use a good-quality wine as it makes such a difference to the flavour. For extra bite and texture, I sometimes like to add some toasted flaked almonds on top, to finish it off.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the beef cheeks

Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef cheeks, cut into large chunks
1 bottle rioja
2 carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 bay leaf
few sprigs thyme
3 garlic cloves, peeled
10 black peppercorns
olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
200ml fresh beef stock

For the cauliflower purée

Quantity Ingredient
1 cauliflower, broken into florets
500ml full-fat milk
50g unsalted butter
sea salt
white pepper

Method

  1. Marinate the beef with all the ingredients except for the oil, seasoning and stock, and chill in the fridge overnight. The next day, drain the beef and vegetables, reserving the wine, and set aside.
  2. Heat a good layer of oil in a large pan, season the beef with salt and black pepper and fry in batches until browned all over. Transfer to a casserole dish. Discard most of the oil from the pan, then add in the vegetables and fry for 15 minutes until quite tender. Tip into the casserole dish with the beef. Pour in the reserved wine and top up with enough stock to cover.
  3. Put the lid on, bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2½–3 hours until really tender and falling apart.
  4. Meanwhile cook the cauliflower. Put the florets into a pan and cover with the milk. Bring to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes until tender. Drain, reserving the milk. Use a hand blender and whiz with 50–100 ml of the reserved milk and the butter until smooth and glossy. Season with salt and white pepper. Serve the beef on a good dollop of cauliflower purée, and top with some of the red wine sauce.
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