The Duffy family have only recently discovered the joys of slow-cooked beef cheeks. They have the most incredible melt-in-the-mouth texture and make a brilliant winter comfort food, especially when paired with our Shiraz.
2kg beef cheeks
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 orange rind, peeled in strips
10 bay leaves
3 sprigs rosemary
2 star anise
2 tspn juniper berry, crushed
1/2 cup vino cotto
2 cups Holm Oak Shiraz
2 large onions, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 cups beef stock
To taste: sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
The day before cooking, place the beef cheeks into a large mixing bowl or tray and drizzle over ¼ cup of olive oil and marinate with garlic cloves, orange rind and all the spices and herbs. Place in the fridge overnight or up to 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 120C.
Remove the beef cheeks from the fridge and season with salt and pepper.
Remove the beef cheeks from the marinade and place into a large non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Brown in batches for 3-4 minutes until well sealed, then place in a heavy-bottomed casserole dish.
Deglaze the frying pan with vino cotto and red wine, then reduce the liquid by half and add to the casserole dish with the beef cheeks.
Wipe the frying pan clean and add the remaining olive oil, onions and celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to the casserole dish.
Add the beef stock to the casserole dish, cover with oven-proof lid or foil and put into pre-heated oven.
Turn the beef cheeks after 2 hours, then check after a further 2 hours to see if the cheeks are tender by using a fork to pull away the meat.
After 4 hours the meat should be quite soft and falling apart, if not, continue to cook for another hour. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of the cheeks.
Once tender, remove from the oven and allow to sit for 20 minutes to cool slightly.
Remove the beef cheeks for the cooking liquid, trim away any gristle then set aside and keep warm.
Pour the cooking liquid into a large jug and refrigerate for 20 minutes. Skim the fat which will separate from the stock liquid once cooled.
Pour the stock into a medium saucepan and simmer over high heat for approximately 10 minutes to reduce the stock by half, then set aside to use as the sauce.
Serve with mashed potato, gnocchi or soft polenta.