Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks

From Chef, Steven Paterson, Poronui Estate

Serves 4

Main Ingredients:
– 2 whole beef cheeks, available from your butcher
– 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
– A handful of well-seasoned flour
– ½ bottle of a mid to heavy red wine
– ½ cup of dark brown sugar
– 1 tbsp Chinese 5 spice
– 6 cloves of garlic
– 1 large orange, chopped into a few pieces
– 1 large red onion, roughly chopped
– 2 star anise
– 2 tbsp of molasses
– 2 cups of beef stock
– A good pinch of salt and
– 3 dried red chillies

To serve:
– 1 fresh red chilli, diced
– ¼ cup of crushed wasabi peas (available from the supermarket)
– ¼ of a red cabbage
– 1 carrot
– 1 white onion
– Splash of sesame
– Splash of soy sauce
– Splash of fish sauce
– A handful of coriander
– A handful of peanuts, roasted and chopped
– 2 tbsp of toasted sesame seeds

Preheat your oven to 130°C, or 80°C if cooking overnight.

Dry the beef slightly with some kitchen paper, then dust them lightly with the seasoned flour. Heat a pan with a little oil in it and when hot, color the cheeks well on all sides. Place them into an oven proof dish and set aside.

In the same pan, cook the onion and garlic slightly until they become soft and fragrant. Add the carrots and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the onions, garlic and carrots into the pot with the beef, as well as the remaining main ingredients. Make sure the cheeks are fully covered - if not, add a little water or more beef stock.

Put a lid on your pot and place into the oven at 130°C and cook for approx. 8 hours, checking a few times that there is still enough liquid inside.

30 minutes prior to serving, thinly slice the cabbage, carrot and onion. Combine in a bowl with the soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame and seasoning as a dressing. Mix together and season to taste. Garnish with the sesame seeds, peanuts and some torn coriander leaves.

Once the beef is cooked, allow to cool slightly then gently lift the cheek out and set aside. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a pot and reduce on a high heat until it becomes slightly thick and glossy.

To serve, glaze the cheeks with some sauce and garnish with the wasabi peas, fresh chilli on top and a handful of slaw on the side.

This can be eaten as is, or you could add a side of tortilla wraps, salad greens or roasted sweet potato for a full dinner.