“My mum isn’t a massive meat eater, but for some reason whenever she visits she requests my famous slow-cooked beef cheeks. I am touched that when she chooses to eat meat she chooses this, especially as I always make it with love to try and impress her.” Luke Hines
2 tablespoons coconut oil
4 x 220 g beef cheeks, trimmed
1 onion, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 large sweet potato, roughly chopped
500 ml (2 cups) tomato passata
2 tablespoons tomato paste
750 ml (3 cups) beef stock
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
4 rosemary sprigs
freshly ground black pepper
chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, to serve
Cauliflower and garlic puree
1 head of cauliflower, florets chopped and stalk removed
80 g butter or ghee
3 garlic cloves, grated
pinch of sea salt
1 Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flameproof casserole dish over high heat. Season the beef cheeks generously with salt, add them to the pan and sauté for 3–4 minutes, or until sealed and browned on all sides. Remove the browned beef from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
2 Utilising all the incredible juices that are now in your pan, add the onion, garlic and chilli and sauté for 3 minutes, or until soft and caramelised. Add the carrot and sweet potato and cook for a further 2 minutes, then pour over the tomato passata, tomato paste and beef stock. Stir through the bay leaf, thyme and rosemary and season to taste. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to very low, cover with a lid and simmer very gently for 5–6 hours, or until the meat falls apart when pressed with a fork.
3 For the cauliflower puree, steam or boil the cauliflower florets until soft, then transfer to a food processor with the butter or ghee, garlic and salt. Pulse until well combined and smooth.
4 Carefully remove the beef cheeks from the stew and set them aside, then crank the heat up to high. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until thickened and reduced to your liking, then return the beef cheeks to the sauce to warm through.
5 To serve, divide the cauliflower puree among four plates and garnish with a little chopped parsley. Spoon over the braised beef cheeks and sauce and serve.
Beef cheeks are a really tough piece of meat due to how much the animal uses these muscles. That’s why slow cooking is the absolute best way to enjoy them. Slow cooking tougher cuts of meat such as veal shank and lamb shoulders can save you lots of money, as they are often much cheaper than the more expensive prime cuts.
Recipes extracted from Eat Clean by Luke Hines. Available now, Plum, RRP $39.99.