Ox cheek and mushroom stew with chocolate and orange picada

Ox cheek and mushroom stew with chocolate and orange picada

By
From
The Natural Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Picada is a traditional Spanish seasoning that is added to a stew near the end of cooking to thicken it and give flavour. This is a particularly aromatic and rich version.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Braised mushrooms with rosemary
400g ox cheek or stewing steak, cut into pieces of similar size to the mushrooms
light olive oil
300ml red wine

For the picada

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 slice robust bread
1 garlic clove, roughly chopped
10g good dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 teaspoon orange zest, finely grated
4-5 walnuts
3 sprigs flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Season the beef with salt and pepper. In a hot frying pan, using light olive oil, fry off batches of the meat until they have a good brown colour all over. This is where the flavour comes from, so don’t take shortcuts and don’t overcrowd the pan. When all the meat is browned, add the wine to the pan and bring to the boil, scraping any sticky bits from the base.
  2. Put the meat and wine in a casserole dish with the mushrooms, cover and cook in the oven for two hours, stirring halfway through.
  3. Meanwhile, make the picada. Soak the bread in water for a few seconds, then squeeze out the water and tear it up. Crush the garlic in a mortar and pestle with a little salt, then add the walnuts and parsley and smash once more. Grind in the bread, chocolate and orange zest and add a little pepper. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, the picada will be fine cut by hand.)
  4. Ten minutes before the casserole is ready, pull it out of the oven and sprinkle the picada evenly over the top. Put it back in the oven for the remaining cooking time, with the lid on. Serve with polenta or mashed potatoes.

Variations

  • Little pies: If you have any leftovers of either braised mushrooms with rosemary or the beef casserole, they make a great filling for pies. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line the moulds of a muffin tray with rough puff or shortcrust pastry, fill each one with the filling, then top with more pastry. Bake for 25–30 minutes.

    Pasta: Any leftovers of the casserole make a delicious pasta sauce; it goes especially well with spelt tagliatelle or gigli pasta shapes. Just reheat the sauce, cutting up any large pieces of meat or mushrooms, then mix into the hot al dente pasta with a spoonful or two of the pasta cooking water.

Storage

  • The stew will get better with time and will keep for four days in a sealed container in the fridge, as will the braised mushrooms. Reheat both gently on the hob in covered saucepans until hot right through, to serve.
Tags:
The Natural Cook
Poco
Tom Hunt
sustainability
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vegetables
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