In honour of Fathers Day this Sunday, Emma and I thought it would be nice to share some of our Dads favourite recipes. My parents are currently caravanning around Australia on ‘grey nomads leave’, so I messaged Mum to see what Dad would class as his favourite meal. After a bit of deliberation he finally decided on Mums slow cooked beef cheeks which Mum serves with cauliflower purée. This is a bit of a fancier take on his first choice which was ‘steak and veg.’ Classic Dad.
This dish to me is one of those ones that Mum makes if my sisters and I are all coming home for the weekend. Its sometimes a bit rare that we’re all together and in the one place at the one time. The house will be smelling delicious as we all make our way home at different stages on a Friday night. The red table cloth will be set on the table, Mum’s playlist will be playing in the background and we’ll sit around the table for hours with a few bottles of red and plenty of stories to be told. Our kitchen table and that red table cloth have experienced a lot of good times.
As I was making the beef cheeks to shoot for this post the smell of it just reminded me of being back home. I didn’t realise I resonated so much with this dish until actually making it for myself. I’ve never really thought about food being such a big emotional trigger but this took me right back to big family dinners at home.
This is the recipe Mum uses but she cooks hers in the slow cooker. Enjoy!
Movida Slowly braised beef cheeks in Pedro Ximenez with cauliflower puree
Source: Movida Spanish Culinary Adventures
1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) beef cheeks
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) olive oil
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 garlic bulb, halved
1 brown onion, sliced
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) Pedro Ximenez sherry
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) red wine
3 bay leaves
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 head of cauliflower, broken into florets
185 ml (6 fl oz/¾ cup) cream
40g (1 ½ oz) butter
1. Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any sinew and silver skin. Season well.
2. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
3. Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic and onion and sauté over high heat for 12-15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the sherry, wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) water.
4. Reduce the heat as low as possible, add the beef cheeks, then cover and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart.
5. Meanwhile, put the cauliflower, cream and butter in a saucepan, season to taste with salt, then cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, or until very tender. Place the cauliflower mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Keep the purée warm.
6. The sauce from the beef cheeks should by now be reduced and glaze-like. If it needs further reducing, remove the cheeks from the pan, cover with foil to keep them warm and simmer the sauce over high heat until nicely reduced. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pan; gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.
Serve the cheeks and their sauce on warm plates with the cauliflower puree.
Happy Fathers Day Robdog! It’s a shame you missed these beef cheeks because they were delicious! Can’t wait to sit around the table and have a beer together on your return x