Slow Braised Beef Cheek

Slow Braised Beef Cheek

3 lbs. Beef Cheek, cleaned and trimmed
1 Spanish Onion,
medium sized, roughly chopped
2 Carrots,
peeled and roughly chopped
2 Celery Stalks,
roughly chopped
1 Parsnip,
peeled and roughly chopped
Fresh Thyme
2 pc Bay Leaf
1 T Black Peppercorns
1 T Salt
1 C Red Cooking Wine
1 L Beef Stock
2 T Tomato Paste
1 T Maple Syrup

When you approach your butcher for some beef cheeks, make sure to ask him to clean all the fat and silver skin off of the cheek. If it is left on, it will become tough and rubbery – silver skin is not a type of fat that will break down in the braising method.

Place the cheese in an oven proof braising pan, cover with red wine and stock. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the salt. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Heat a pan on high heat with a glug of oil, and brown the cheek evenly on both sides. Place back in the marinating liquid, cover and place n the oven at 300F for about 3-4 hours. To check if the cheeks are done, take a fork and flake the meat, if it still feels firm then it will need more time. If it breaks away easily, it is ready to be removed from the oven. 

Remove the Cheeks from the liquid and strain all the ingredients form the braising liquid. Place the braising liquid on the stove and reduce on medium heat until the liquid starts to thicken.

Serve the cheeks with your favourite mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables (that’s what I do!). Place the beef cheek on top of the potatoes and vegetables and spoon over the braising reduction.

Wine Pairing:
Vineland Estates Winery 2011 Cabernet Merlot