Stokehouse head chef Richard Ousby shares a favourite winter recipe.
1kg x beef cheeks, cleaned of all sinew and fat
750ml red wine
1 carrot / 2 brown onion / 1 leek / 3 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf / 6 sprigs thyme
2 litres good quality beef stock
Tightly pack the beef cheeks into a deep tray or plastic container, pour the red wine over, cover with a lid or plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (at least 10 hours).
Remove the beef from the wine, pat dry with a paper towel and preheat an oven to 120oc.
Roughly chop the carrot, onion and leek. Heat a deep casserole dish over a high heat, add veg oil and brown the chopped veg, stirring occasionally until well coloured, then remove the veg with a slotted spoon and reserve.
Add a little more oil to the pot, and brown off the beef cheeks on all sides then add the cooked veg, garlic cloves, thyme and bay leaf.
Deglaze the pan with the red wine and boil until the wine has almost completely evaporated, then add the reduced beef stock and bring to the boil.
Cover the casserole* with a lid, and place in the preheated oven for four hours, turning over every hour. When they are tender, remove the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes to concentrate the sauce.
*Alternatively place in a slow cooker before work and come home to very tender beef cheeks.
NB: Some cheeks may take up to five hours to cook, depending on their size and the breed of cattle.
Serving it up
1 medium brown onion, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, thinly sliced
1 bunch of green basil, leaves picked and roughly chopped
2 punnets of cherry tomatoes
400g of fresh pappardelle pasta (or any pasta to feed four people)
150g buffalo ricotta (or regular ricotta)
Butter / Parmesan cheese / salt and pepper
Sweat off onions and garlic until soft, but without colour. Add 200ml of the braising liquid from the cheeks, as well as the cheeks and cherry tomatoes. Bring to boil, making sure the cheeks are heated through.
Reduce the sauce slightly, thick enough to just coat the back of the spoon. Add basil. Then season. Add cooked pasta. Gently toss together.
Divide amongst four bowls, place ricotta on top of the pasta. Then finely grate parmesan over the top.
Richard Ousby is head chef at Stokehouse, Sidon Street, South Bank.