Takes 5 hours
The Ginger Pig's take on Hannibal Lecter, beef cheeks slowly braised in chianti served with a decadent mashed potato is certainly our idea of winter indulgence. Advantageously, no humans were devoured in the process.
1. Preheat the oven to 140C fan.
2. Set a large cast iron pot or dutch oven on a medium heat, add in the first knob of butter, carefully place in the beef cheeks and fry until browned on both sides. Remove and set aside for now.
3. Add in the second knob of butter, onions, carrots and bay leaves, fry until the onions and carrots have softened then add in the garlic, continue to fry for a further 2 minutes until the garlic is smelling fragrant.
4. Squeeze in the tomato puree and cook off for 4 minutes, add the browned beef cheeks along with their juices back to the pan, turn the heat up to high and pour in the red wine. Bring the wine up to boil to cook off the alcohol then pour in the beef stock, the beef cheeks should be almost submerged, leaving the top of them just peeking out. Add in the brown sugar then season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Bring up to the boil again, put a lid on and place in the oven for 5 hours.
6. 40 minutes before the beef cheeks are ready, you can prepare the mashed potato. Place your potatoes into a large pot of well salted water, set on a high heat and bring to the boil, cook for 10 minutes then drain well.
7. Place back into the pot and mash until smooth, if you have a ricer, this will be even better to get your mash lovely and silky. Stir in the mustard, cream and butter until everything is combined. Place a lid on and keep warm until ready to serve.
8. Remove the beef cheeks from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving. Turn the oven up to 200C fan.
9. Place the kale on a tray and massage 1 tbsp of vegetable oil into the leaves. Season with a little salt and place in the oven for 10 minutes until lovely and crispy.
10. Serve the silky mash onto plates, place a cheek on top and spoon over some of the lovely gravy from the pot. Top with the crispy kale and chives. Enjoy!
• 1kg beef cheeks
• 2 knobs of butter
• 1 large white onion, diced
• 3 carrots, diced
• 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 2 bay leaves
• 1 tbsp tomato puree
• 300ml Chianti wine
• 500ml beef stock
• 2 tsp brown sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 3 large potatoes, peeled and roughly cut into large chunks
• 2 tsp grain mustard
• 50g butter
• 100ml double cream
• 100g kale
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• Handful of chives, finely chopped for garnish