We like a challenge. Ox cheek (or beef cheek) was hard to get hold of in the UK for a while following the post-BSE/ CJD legislation, but the lovely folk at Waitrose have it all trimmed and ready to go!
I took a traditional Boeuf Bourguignon recipe and swapped in whole pieces of ox cheek, in place of the usual braising steak, and braised in a low oven for 3 hours. I’m not going to lie – it’s a an ugly, brute of a piece of meat. Using tongs helped a lot 🙂
2 large pieces, which were just under 1kg altogether, only just fitted in my 4.2 litre Le Creuset pot. After the first hour I took the casserole out of the oven and turned the meat over in the braising liquid. They had shrunk a little by then, which made the job easier. After 2½ hours both pieces were very tender and the sauce thickened a bit, but I turned the meat over again and popped it back in for a final half hour while I dealt with the veggies.
The mashed root veg was already prepped in the freezer, so reheated with butter in a sauté pan. Had a huge bag of kale to get through, so steamed a few handfuls of that too.
Served chunks of fork-tender ox cheek with the chunky braising veggies, buttered mash and bright green kale. Perfect Sunday lunch 🙂