This simple braised beef recipe, developed by Geoffrey Smeddle for the Sunday Herald, is an absolute triumph when the days start turning colder. Marinating the beef does take a while, but it results in a rich flavour that is wonderful for winter dinner parties. The beef cheeks keep well overnight, so reserve any leftovers of this sumptuous dish for the next day.
Geoffrey Smeddle, proprietor and chef of The Peat Inn in Fife, started his career working for Herbert Berger at The Café Royal and for Christopher Galvin in London. He then sealed his reputation as one of Scotland’s top chefs by opening Terence Conran's Etain, in Glasgow.
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In a large frying pan, saute the carrots, onion, celery, garlic and tomatoes in oil until golden brown. Remove the vegetables from the pan and allow to cool. Place them in a large bowl with the wines and beef cheeks
200g of carrots
250g of onion
200g of celery
4 garlic cloves
250g of tomatoes
500ml of red wine
500ml of dry white wine
1.5kg beef cheek
Completely cover the meat by 3cm using the vegetables, adding water if necessary. Leave to marinate for at least 12 hours
After marinading, empty the bowl into a colander over another bowl to collect all the liquid from the marinade, reserving the meat and vegetables
Place a large frying pan on a high heat. Once hot add the vegetable oil and cook the cheeks until dark golden in colour As you remove the sealed pieces of meat, dust each one with flour and place in a braising pot
1 tbsp of flour
Add the marinade and vegetables to the braising pot and bring to the boil. Skim the top, then add the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and bouquet garni. Bring back to simmering point then cover with a tight-fitting lid and place in the oven at 150˚C/Gas mark 2
1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
1 bouquet garni
1000ml of beef stock
After about two and a half hours check the meat is tender all the way through. If it is still not tender, cook it further, checking it every 15 minutes or so until it reaches desired tenderness
Remove the pot from the oven and allow the cheeks to cool in the liquid. Transfer the meat from the braising pot to a clean pot and cover with foil. Thicken the cooking liquid if necessary by simmering until reduced to the required consistency, then pour it over the braised beef
Slice the courgette and pan fry in olive oil until golden
Reheat the meat and liquid and adjust the seasoning, adding the tomato quarters and courgette
4 plum tomatoes
Divide the braised beef and vegetables between serving plates, sprinkle with chopped parsley and basil and drizzle with olive oil
1 tbsp of parsley
6 basil leaves, chopped
30ml of virgin olive oil
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