The Cheek Of It!
Let me start with an apology to all my vegetarian readers. I'll have a more veggie friendly post soon, and I promise it won't essentially be another version of cheese on toast.
So I managed to get my jammy mitts on a lovely, chunky ox cheek. I bloody love both ox and cheeks, so I was quite pleased scoring a double whammy combo. There's really only one way to do ox cheek and that's slowly braised. In booze. Lots of booze.
There was definitely enough food here to feed at least 4 people, but it was so damn delicious that scoffer me and my pig bin devoured the entire pot between us. And I'd do it again, I tell you! No regrets can taste this delicious.
Well, I'd best let you in on the secret holy feast of wonder.
Song Stew (Touch My Bum)
1 ox cheek
1 parsnip, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 onion, diced
1 celery stick, chopped
1 leek, halved and chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
A few sprigs of rosemary, picked and chopped
2 big glugs of ginger wine (optional)
1 big glug of port (optional)
beef stock cube (optional)
left over red wine roasting juice (red wine will do if you don't have any reserved juices)
2 bay leaves
a few peppercorns
1 red chilli
2 garlic cloves, bruised
- Pop your cheek in a bowl with all the marinade ingredients and leave it the hell alone for a few hours. Go and read a book or take an exercise class, you might need to get the fitness points in now before you eat them all away later.
- Have you waited an appropriate amount of time? Good. Preheat the oven to gas mark 3 or equivalent. Heat some fat in a big, ovenproof pan and brown your ox cheek on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, fry off your onion, garlic, carrots, parsnip and leeks until softened. You may notice from the pictures, that I forgot to add my leeks at this stage and just slung them in later, but who cares, it was still AMAZING.
- Throw in your meat, marinade, rosemary, all the liquids and stock if you're using. If you aren't using the whole array of booze, you can just use red wine, or stock, or even just water.
- Season the pot and bring to the boil, then cover and pop in the oven. Leave it alone for at least 3 hours.
- At the end of the cook I slung the pan back on the hob and lobbed in some new potatoes to simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked.
- Serve it up. I defy you to stop eating when you're full. You will stop when it's gone. It's the curse of the cheek. Cheeky cheeky...