I love oxtail stew but it is a bit of a faff getting all the meat off the bones. Ox cheek, delivers all the flavour of oxtail without the faff! Long, slow braising is the secret to getting the meat tender and the prep is easy. So, once you’ve got it in the oven, you can get on with something else while it fills your kitchen with the most fragrant aroma. The finished ragout is quite rich so, for two of us, I served half spooned over some crushed buttered Charlotte potatoes with a green side vegetable and saved the other half to stir through some pasta topped with sautéed mushrooms and Parmesan shavings.
- 500g/2 ox cheeks
- 2tbsp rapeseed oil, 1 generous knob of butter
- 70ml red wine
- 1tbsp plain flour
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, finely chopped
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for an hour
- 150ml rich beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- Salt and black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 140°C.
- Melt the butter and oil in a cast iron casserole dish on the hob. Medium heat.
- Add the chopped onions and celery and cook for about 10 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Stir in the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.
- Carefully remove the porcini from the soaking water and chop them very finely. Strain the soaking water to remove any pieces of grit and reserve – there’s lots of flavour in this liquid.
- Sprinkle over the flour, stir and allow to cook out for a few minutes.
- Add the whole beef cheeks, stock, red wine, porcini juices, chopped porcini, bay leaf, thyme, a tsp of salt and black pepper.
- Stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 4 hours.
- Remove the beef cheeks and place on a chopping board or a plate. Shred the meat with a couple of forks and add it back to the stewing juices. Adjust the seasoning if needed. The sauce should be rich and fragrant and the meat tender.
- Return it to the oven, turn off the heat and leave it in the casserole until you want to serve it.
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I have never had ox, but it does not mean I would not try it. Great looking recipe.