Beef Cheeks in Port Reduction

If you want to make this have a chat to your local butcher.  We had not idea that we wouldn’t be able to get beef cheeks for love nor money in Canberra.  We ended up chatting to our local Yass butcher and he put them aside for us.  Also a good idea to give the meat prep job to someone with a strong stomach.  We purchased 5kg of beef cheeks and after cutting off the undesirable bits ended up with half this amount.

This recipe is from our celebrity UK chef Sam Good.

Recipe from: Sam Good

2 Onions
3 Carrots
3 Celery Sticks
2 Cloves of Garlic
4-5 Sprigs of Thyme (preferably fresh)
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Tomato Purée
1.5kg Beef Cheeks
500 ml. Four Winds Vineyard Cabernet Merlot
300 ml. Port

To start off finely dice, onions, carrots and celery sticks.  Put them in a bowl wrapped with cling wrap and into the fridge or later on.

If not already trimmed, take all of the sinew and excess fat off the cheeks until you’re left with just the meat and the marbling o fat running through.

Pre-heat the oven to 125°C

Now to the cooking, first of all get your non-stick deep pan on medium-high heat.  Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, but not to much as you will be getting all of the melted fats from the beef cheeks.  Once the oil is very hot at the stage where it is starting to smoke, add the beef cheeks to the pan and leave them until you can start to see the dark colouring around the cheeks. Season well with salt and pepper.
(Tip-Try not to get impatient and move the cheeks before they have colour as they will stick and you will tear the beef cheeks.)

Once you have enough colour on all of your cheeks remove from the pan and add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic and sauté them of until you start to get colour on them.  Add 1 tablespoon tomato Purée to the vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.  Season.

Add the beef cheeks back in along with 2 sprigs off thyme and cover with the red wine/port mixture.  Make sure it has come to the boil then place a lid on your pan and move into the oven for around 3-4 hours.

Check after 3 hours and if they are starting to fall apart easily take out.  Remove the beef cheeks, cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Then if needed reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon.

Finish with a large handful of finely cut fresh parsley and accompany with some lovely garlic mash and some fresh green beans for the perfect dinner.

Perfectly suited with a beautiful glass of Four Winds Vineyard Cabernet Melot