Posts Tagged ‘Beef Cheeks’

Braised Beef Cheeks with Pickled Mushrooms

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

As the cold winter days become more frequent, my food thoughts start moving towards rich, slow cooked, tasty meals, which we associate with secondary cuts.  However, there is nothing secondary about beef cheeks if they are treated correctly.

When braised low and slow, the collagen breaks down into gelatin and as a result, you get melt in your mouth, tender and delicious moist beef. Perfect with buttery potato mash or celeriac and with the addition of something like pickled mushrooms to cut through the richness, this dish works extremely well.


Braised Beef Cheeks with Pickled Mushrooms (serves 12)
The beef cheek is the muscle that lines the upper and lower jaw.  It is a very tough, yet lean piece of meat.

4kg beef cheek
5 litres beef stock
1kg mirepoix (a finely diced mixture of onions, carrots, celery)
3 bay leaves
8-10 sprigs thyme
1 litre red wine
500g tomato paste

Sauté mirepoix in a little oil in a deep braising dish.  Place beef cheeks on top, add the rest of the braising ingredients, cover and braise overnight at 100°C.  Gently remove from liquid and press.  Chill until set then, if using for individual platings, divide into portions.  Pass the stock and all the braising liquids through a fine sieve.  Pour into a pan and simmer until reduced to sauce consistency.  Reheat the braised beef cheek portions in the sauce.  Plate in portions and serve with pickled mushrooms.

Pickled Mushrooms

250g oyster mushrooms, left whole
125g shitake mushrooms, sliced
250ml white wine vinegar
60g brown sugar
1 Tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 small red onion

Finely slice onion and place in saucepan with mustard, sugar and vinegar.  Bring to the boil.  Pour over mushrooms and leave to chill.  To serve, drain, then garnish with radish slices and a scattering of micro radish and sorrel leaves.




Darren Signature

Beef cheeks and short ribs by Darren Wright, Chillingworth Road

Monday, September 16th, 2013

I jetted off to Christchurch on Saturday, leaving rainy Auckland and arriving to a sparkling sunshine Canterbury day!  My destination was the Christchurch Foodshow and the highlight of the day was attending a Masterclass by our very talented Ambassador Chef, Darren Wright from Chillingworth Road.  Darren’s class was all about the lesser known cuts used in cooking – beef ribs and beef cheeks.  His method of slow cooking these cuts resulted in the most tender and flavoursome beef dishes that simply melted in my mouth and set my taste buds alight!

Darren Wright

Learning tips from a master chef like Darren on how to intensify the flavours of your dish by caramilisation, reduction, leaving the seasoning of your dish to the end and the slow cooking methods to break down tendons and sinew which add to the flavour, have given me the confidence to try using these cuts at home.

Braised beef short rib with Chevre tortellini and veg

Darren’s two dishes of ‘braised beef short rib with Chevre tortellini and new season veg’ followed by ‘beef cheek pies’ were restaurant quality dishes, easily adapted to cook at home in your crockpot for 6-8 hours or braised slowly in the oven at a low temperature for 4 hours.  It was a pleasure sampling each dish and listening to the tips and methods Darren gave us on how we can create these dishes to impress our family and friends.  So don’t by pass these cuts next time you see them at your local butcher.  Be adventurous and have a go!

Tasting Plate beef cheek pie

And don’t forget if you want to ‘eat, drink and learn’ when in Christchurch visit Chillingworth Road

Lisa Signature


Slow Cooking at its Best

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

Beef Cheeks

Winter must definitely be here when you find yourself buying comfort food.

Last Sunday while visiting Ponsonby Central and looking through the Neat Meat butcher shop I came across a pre-prepared dish  ‘Burgundy Braised Beef Cheek’ ~ one of the dishes in the ‘Chef Series’ by Josh Emmet.  I heated the dish in water for about 20 minutes and I have to say it was absolutely delicious!

What a far cry from my days in the butcher shop when we sold cheek to customers for their dog (too tough for cats) at a cheap price. No one ever thought of eating it… Cheek is probably the toughest muscle on an animal and it really follows the rule that the tougher the meat, the more flavoursome it can be when slow cooked.

Try it sometime.

Rod Signature