Tuesday, July 24

Jul DOTM: Braised Beef Cheeks with Salsa Verde

Hope you guys had a fine weekend. I celebrated my birthday early with my in-laws by whipping a meal and July's Dish of the Month - Braised Beef Cheeks with Salsa Verde. My mother-in-law often to take us out but dining at home is so much more fun these days as I get to try new recipes and we don't have to worry about entertaining the kids.

Roasted beet and grapefruit salad 

Fettucine with portobello and bagna cauda

Cocoa Napolean from The Patissier

My mother-in-law bought a lovely cake from The Patissier. Light mascarpone cheese layered with the smoothest chocolate-flavoured mousse paired off with a crunchy hazelnut chocolate crust.

Fed and happy

Braised beef cheeks 

I absolutely beef cheeks. Beef cheeks are a dish you often find in French bistros though not very often at all. Imagine my delight and surprise when I found some Australian beef cheeks at Giant (Suntec City) at a discounted price. A double win in my books! I greedily bought three packs, with no idea when and what to do with them.

I did finally have a chance to work their magic with an early birthday meal with my in-laws. This is a recipe for keeps. Your patience will surely be rewarded with tender beef cheeks that are still slightly chewy with the tendons running through them. If you want them to meltingly tender, by all means, cook them longer. But we wanted to tuck into mighty meaty beef and not some insipid watered down protein.

 Here are the recipe, adapted from Delicious.com.


For the beef cheeks 
  • 750ml bottle red wine 
  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • 6 beef cheeks, trimmed 
  • 2 tbs plain flour, seasoned, to dust 
  • 2 onions, chopped 
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 2L (8 cups) good-quality beef stock 
  • 2 bay leaves

For the salsa verde
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) EVOO 
  • 2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves 
  • 1 cup basil leaves 
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves 
  • 2 tbs each Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and capers 
  • 2 anchovy fillets (optional but highly recommended)
  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the wine in a pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes or until reduced by half. Set aside. Heat oil in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. 
  2. Dust beef in flour, shaking off excess. Brown beef, in batches, for 2 minutes each side, adding more oil if necessary. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add the onion to the pan, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in garlic, then return beef to pan. Add reduced wine, stock and bay leaves, then season. The meat should be completely covered with liquid, so top up with water if necessary.
  4. Cover and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef is tender. You can always test a piece and see how well you like them done. 
  5. Meanwhile, to make the salsa verde, place the ingredients in a blender and blend to form a smooth paste. Season to taste.
  6. Transfer beef to a plate, then cover with foil to keep warm. Place casserole over medium-high heat for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Serve the beef with the sauce, mashed potato and salsa verde.

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