Glen David Wilson

Cooked with love: Beef cheeks with chorizo, polenta, bacon

TOMORROW is the day of love. Are you cooking your special someone a delicious meal to celebrate your love for one another? Our delicious soft beef cheeks with polenta are sure to please. They are easy to prepare: basically place them in the oven and leave them be. The longer they cook the better they are - low and slow is the key.


Beef cheeks with chorizo, polenta and bacon crumb

INGREDIENTS:  

  •  4 beef cheeks  
  •  Oil, for frying  
  •  200g spicy chorizo, chopped  
  •  1 carrot, diced  
  •  1 clove garlic, chopped  
  •  1 stick celery, chopped  
  •  2 tbs tomato puree  
  •  12 black peppercorns  
  •  half a bunch of thyme  
  •  1 bottle of red wine  
  •  1 litre chicken stock.

Polenta:  

  •  1.5 litres chicken stock  
  •  300g polenta  
  •  100g butter  
  •  150ml cream  
  •  50g finely grated parmesan.

Parmesan and bacon crumb:  

  •  100g parmesan cheese, grated  
  •  100g bacon pieces  
  •   ½ cup of panko breadcrumbs  
  •  1-2 tbs of fresh parsley  
  •  Salt and pepper.

METHOD: To make the beef cheeks: heat some oil in a casserole pot or a large pot, then seal the meat on all sides and remove. Add the chorizo to the same pot and fry until crispy, then remove. Add the vegetables and cook on a low heat for 5 minutes, then stir in the tomato puree, peppercorns and thyme. Pour in the wine and stir well. Bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes. Stir in the beef cheeks, chorizo and stock. If using your casserole pot, put on the lid and place in a preheated 130 degree oven for 8 to 10 hours. Otherwise pour all the contents into a large roasting tray and make sure the liquid covers everything, if not add more stock - wrap tightly with foil.

When timer has finished, press the cheeks to see if they are super soft. They should nearly fall apart. Carefully remove the cheeks and strain the juices. Place juices in a saucepan and simmer/boil on to the stove top until reduced. Leave it to become thick - taste - then add a small dollop of butter and swirl. To make the polenta, bring the stock to the boil and then add the polenta, stirring well. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the butter, cream and parmesan, then cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the bacon crumb by cutting the bacon into small dice and frying until golden brown with the breadcrumbs. Allow to cool. Grate in some parmesan, add a little salt and pepper then finely chopped fresh parsley. Serve the beef cheeks with a good dollop of polenta on the side and top with bacon crumb and reduced sauce. Serves 4.

Dan and Steph Mulheron won My Kitchen Rules in 2013. Visit http://www.danandsteph.com.au



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