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Braised Beef Cheek Ragout

Serves 4

This is as easy as it gets for making a ragout; it’s all about letting it cook. The beef cheek sounds intimidating and off putting, but in reality, the cheeks hold so much flavour and deep rich beef notes. The cheek of a cow works hard as they graze all day, so that’s why they need so long to breakdown and cook. Sometimes these cheeks can be expensive depending on where you go, but the cheeks are parts of the animal that nobody wants and they tend to be a bit tough, so that’s why they tend to be on the cheaper side compared to a filet mignon.

What you need:

  • 1 lb beef cheek, cleaned (ask your butcher to do it for you)
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1.5 cups beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 medium tin of diced tomatoes in juice
  • 3 sprigs of each rosemary, thyme tied together in a bundle
  • 10 green olives, pitted and cut into chunks
  • 4 piece piquillo peppers, sliced
  • 1 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • Brick of parmesan
  • Pasta of your choosing (preferably pappardelle, orecchiette)
  • Salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. In a large pot, start by searing the beef cheeks super hard to get a crust. On the first turn of the beef cheeks, add the onion, garlic, carrot and cook out until the vegetables are soft. Make sure to season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Once the vegetables are soft, add in all your liquids and tomatoes.
  3. Bring the mixture up to a boil and cover. You can either keep this pot on low on the stove top, or cover and put into the oven around 300 degrees for 3-4 hours. Until the cheeks are able to pull apart.
  4. Once the meat is tender, pull it apart and put to the side.
  5. Drop your pasta in the water and begin to cook. While the pasta is cooking, in a sauté pan, put in the olives, piquillo peppers and beef cheek ragout with some of the left over sauce it was cooked in. Toss your pasta in and coat it in freshly chopped parsley and parmesan.
  6. This ragout goes really well on a bed of potatoes, on a taco etc. The options are endless!