- Serves: 8
- Cook Time:
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Effort: easy
- 2 beef cheeks
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/2 bulb of garlic, cut across the middle
- 1 stick celery, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 12 black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- ½ bottles red wine
- 1 litres chicken stock
- 1 splash balsamic vinegar
- 1 splash Worcestershire sauce
- polenta, to serve
1. Trim the beef cheeks and remove as much sinew as possible. Cut each cheek in half. Season well with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based pan and brown the cheeks on all sides. Remove and set aside.
2. Add the vegetables, garlic and a little extra oil if necessary. Stir around until they turn golden. Add the thyme and peppercorns and mix everything together. When all the vegetables are golden, add the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Pour in the red wine and stir, scraping up all the sticky bits from the bottom of the pan, then cook until the liquid is reduced and you have a sticky sauce - about 12-14 minutes.
4. Put the beef cheeks back in the pan and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, skim the surface and cover with a circle of greaseproof paper. Simmer over a low heat for 1 hour 30 minutes - 2 hours 30 minutes or until the meat is soft and almost falling apart. If you prefer, cook the beef in the oven at 150C/130C fan/gas 2 for 2 hours 30 minutes or until tender.
5. Once the cheeks are cooked add a splash each of balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Carve the cheeks into smaller portions if necessary.
6. These are great served with soft parmesan polenta with the juice poured over the top.
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