Beef Cheek Casserole with Thyme

  • Serves: 4
  • Prep time: 15 mins
  • Cook time: 4 hrs 45 mins
  • Method: Slow-cook

Ingredients

  • 1.5kg beef cheeks
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion roughly diced
  • 2 celery stalks, roughly diced
  • 2 carrots, roughly diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 3 fresh bay leaves – (or 4 dried)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. To prepare the beef cheeks, trim off any fat. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat an oiled large heavy based pan over high heat. Sear the beef cheeks on each side until browned, working in batches rather than crowding the pan. Set aside.
  3. Reduce heat to medium high and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic, onion and carrots. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes until onion is soft, then add the celery and cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker and place the beef cheeks on top.
  4. Pour the wine into the fry pan and return to heat. Turn the heat up to high, bring to simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan to deglaze with the wine.
  5. Pour the wine into the slow cooker, then all the remaining ingredients. Season and cook in the slow cooker for 4 hours or until tender. Open the slow cooker and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour. Pour the sauce into a saucepan.
  6. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to simmer. Simmer until the sauce turns a darker brown colour and reduces to a gravy consistency – about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the sauce. Serve with mash and seasoned vegetables.

Tips

  • Use a full bodied wine such as a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot
  • Point end brisket or boneless shin are alternative cuts for beef cheek