- 1kg beef cheeks
- 2 tspn salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- 4 Tbspn olive oil
- 1 onion roughly diced (approx. 1 cup)
- 1 or 2 leek, rough diced (approx. ¾ cup)
- 1 carrot, roughly diced (about ¾ cup)
- 4 or 5 garlic clove, fine chopped
- 1 or 2 celery stalk, roughly diced (approx. 1 cup)
- approx 6 stem of fresh thyme
- 4 dried bay leaves
- 1 cup beef stock
- 2 cup red wine (full bodied eg. Sarah, Cab Sauv or Merlot)
- 1 can lentils, drained
- Potatoes – mashed or rough smashed
- Greens, steamed – eg broccoli tops, asparagus, peas, beans, whatever you like
- Parsley – finely chopped
- Prepare the beef cheeks – cut off any large, fatty membrane. Pat dry – Season well all over both sides with 1 tspn of salt and black pepper.
- Heat 2 Tbspn olive oil in a large heavy based casserole dish (with a lid) over high heat. Sear the beef cheeks on each side until nicely browned – do in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan. Set aside.
- Turn down the heat to medium high and heat the remaining 2 Tbspn of olive oil. Add garlic, onion, leek carrot and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes then add the celery and sauté for a further 3 minutes.
- Pour the wine into the casserole dish (with the onion mixture) and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to simmer for 1 minute.
- Add the thyme, bay leaves, beef stock & 1 tspn salt. Stir & return the beef cheeks
- Put lid on and cook in the oven at 160C for 3 to 3½ hours until the cheeks are very tender. Turn at least once during cooking.
- Remove the beef cheeks – cover and keep warm. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
- Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour.
- Bring the sauce to simmer over medium heat and simmer until it turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about ¼ to ⅓, to a gravy consistency – about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add the lentils and combine well – simmer a further 1 – 2 minutes to ensure lentils are heated thru
- Taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
- In high sided large bowl type plated
- large “dollop” of mashed or rough smashed potatoes to one side of bowl
- approx. 1 cup “pool” of the rich lentil sauce
- 1 beef cheek on the pool of sauce
- steamed greens on top
- garnish with finely chopped parsley.
- Substitute with any other cut of beef suitable for slow cooking.