BRAISED OX CHEEKS with MUSTARD BUTTERServes: 4 Prep Time: 10 Mins Cooking Time: 4 Hours 35 Mins + marinating and overnight cooling
- 4 ox cheeks (about 250g each), trimmed of excess fat and sinew
- 500ml bottle dark ale
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 carrots , roughly chopped
- 1 large onion , roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks , roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb , broken into cloves, peeled
- a few thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs
- 1l chicken stock
For the mustard butter
- 80g butter , softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 2 shallots , very finely diced
- cooked pearl barley
- steamed greens
- STEP 1
Two-and-a-half days before you plan to eat, put the cheeks in a bowl and pour over the ale. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hrs.
- STEP 2
Up to two days ahead, make the mustard butter by beating the ingredients, together with 3/4 tsp salt, using a wooden spoon in a bowl. Tip onto a sheet of baking parchment or cling film, wrap and roll up to form a sausage shape, then chill in the fridge until needed.
- STEP 3
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Remove the cheeks from the beer, pat dry on kitchen paper and season, reserving the beer. Heat the oil in a wide flameproof casserole dish or heavy-based pan. Sear the cheeks on all sides, then set aside. Add the vegetables and garlic to the hot dish and cook for 10 mins until browned.
- STEP 4
Return the cheeks to the dish with the ale, stock and herbs. Gently bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities as you go. Cover with a tight-fitting lid (or foil) and braise in the oven for 4 hrs until the meat is very tender.
- STEP 5
Once cooked, leave the beef to rest in the cooking liquid until cool – this will give you a much fuller flavour. Then cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
- STEP 6
The following day, remove the cheeks from the fridge. Put the casserole dish over a medium heat to warm though before lifting the cheeks into a bowl and passing the liquor through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bubble on the hob for 15-20 mins until reduced to a rich sauce. Season and return the cheeks to the sauce to warm through. Remove the cheeks again, slice and divide between plates, spooning over some of the sauce. Put a slice of the mustard butter on top of each cheek to melt and serve with pearl barley and steamed greens.