I’ve made Gordon Ramsay’s Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks a handful of times since I bought his Ultimate Home Cooking cookbook. It’s a recipe I keep going back to for its simplicity and the richly delicious red wine sauce.
This dish is always a crowd pleaser, so it would be a great addition to your next dinner party. You can prepare it hours ahead of time and allow it to braise away while you prep for other dishes. Gordon serves this dish by shredding the meat over pappardelle pasta, but it’s good with any type of carbohydrate, including french bread, rice or mashed potatoes (believe it or not, I’ve all of these combinations!)
You can make this dish with an inexpensive cut of beef, and it would still turn out tender and be a delectable dish. You should never, however, skimp on the wine used in the braising. The rule of thumb is to never to use a bottle of wine you wouldn’t drink yourself. I used a $69 bottle of Wolf Blass Yellow Label Cabernet Sauvignon (smaller bottle) here.
Braised Beef Cheeks
1kg beef cheeks (or any stewing beef)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 bay leaf
400mL red wine
400g chopped tomatoes, canned
500mL beef stock
fresh parsley, finely chopped
salt and pepper
If you plan to braise this in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 150°C.
In a French Oven or any heavy based casserole dish over high heat, add a dash of olive oil. Brown the beef cheeks on all sides. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
Turn the heat down to medium high. With the residual oil’s in the pan, add the onion, garlic and bay leaf and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are softened and slightly browned.
Return the beef cheeks back to the pan and add the red wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape the bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, then add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer on high heat.
Cover the pan with a lid, keeping it slightly ajar to allow the steam to escape. Place into an oven if you are using an oven or continue to cook over low heat for 3 ½ – 4 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened. Check the liquid level every hours and add water if necessary.
Serve with mashed potatoes and some steamed carrots and sprinkle with parsley.
Serve and enjoy ~~