"This dish also goes really well with soft polenta," says Darren Robertson. "For best results, don't be afraid to really caramelise the cheeks before braising - this will make a huge difference to the result." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 6 beef cheeks (280gm each)
- 1.5 litres (6 cups) veal stock
- 100 ml shiraz
- 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 juniper berries
- 1 cinnamon quill
- ½ long red chilli
- 1 fresh bay leaf
- 1 thyme sprig
- 1½ tbsp yellow mustard seeds
- 6 baby radishes, shaved on a mandolin
- 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 6 coriander seeds
- 100 ml rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 2 celery stalks, stringy parts removed, cut into 4cm batons
- 2 tsp lime juice
Burnt onion purée
- 4 red onions, unpeeled, trimmed, halved
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 Desiree potatoes (360gm), thickly sliced
- 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1For pickled celery, dry-roast coriander seeds (30-40 seconds), reduce heat to medium, add vinegar and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar, set aside to cool, add celery and lime juice, then refrigerate to pickle (24 hours).
- 2Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season beef to taste and cook in batches, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer beef to a casserole, add stock, wine, carrot, onion, garlic, juniper berries, cinnamon, chilli, bay leaf and thyme, cover with a lid and braise in oven until very tender (3 hours). Remove beef, set aside and keep warm. Strain liquid (discard solids; reserve 375ml) into a saucepan, reduce over high heat to a thick sauce consistency and keep warm.
- 3Meanwhile, for burnt onion purée, place onion on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil, season to taste, roast until completely caramelised (40-50 minutes) and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin (discard), transfer to a saucepan, add potato, cover with reserved braising liquid and 375ml water, cook over medium heat until all liquid evaporates (30-40 minutes). Transfer to a food processor, blend until smooth, add butter and lime juice, season to taste and stir to combine.
- 4Cook mustard seeds in a small saucepan of simmering water over medium heat to remove bitterness (1-2 minutes), drain, transfer to a bowl, add radish, parsley, drained pickled celery, 20ml pickling juice and remaining olive oil, season to taste and set aside.
- 5Divide burnt onion purée among plates, top with beef cheeks, spoon a little reduced braising liquid over, top with radish, mustard seed and pickled celery salad and serve.
This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Bright Staircase porter. Drink suggestion by Shannon Debreceny & Jeff Bennett
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