Braised, tender ox cheek is encased in pastry in this stunning pithivier recipe from Colin McGurran. Homemade choucroute, which needs to ferment for 15 days before serving, cuts through the richness of the pithivier beautifully. If you're not as organised as Colin, sauté some finely shredded white cabbage in a pan and add lemon juice and seasoning

Method
1.
First make the choucroute. In a metal bucket, add a layer of cabbage and sprinkle with salt. Using a rolling pin, mash down until watery. Keep repeating this process until all the cabbage has been used
2.
Leave the cabbage at room temperature for 14 days, then store in the fridge
3.
For the ox cheeks, start by mixing together the salt and thyme in a bowl until well combined
4.
To prepare the ox cheeks, remove the top layer of fat and sinew and rub in the thyme salt. Place the cheeks onto the plancha (flat grill), grind some pepper onto each side, and fry until a dark golden brown colour
5.
Preheat the oven to 100°C/gas mark 1/4
6.
In a large gastro tray or saucepan, lightly fry off the celery, carrot, onion and leek in oil until they begin to colour. Add the red wine and the ox cheeks. Boil until the alcohol cooks off and top up with enough water to cover the cheeks
7.
Cook in the oven for 1 hour 30 minutes. After this time, increase the heat to 140°C/gas mark 1 and cook for a further 2 hours. Remove from the oven and leave on the side to cool for 1 hour. Remove the cheeks from the stock, wrap in cling film and store in the fridge
8.
Strain the liquid from the pan through a fine strainer into a medium saucepan. Bring to a gentle boil and reduce by 3/4. Season to taste and set aside until ready to serve
9.
For the roasted shallots, add the oil, salt and pepper to a pan. Half the shallots lengthways and place on top of the oil mix, cut-side down
10.
Caramelise the shallots on a very high heat until golden brown, then add the butter and thyme, cover with a cartouche and cook until soft on a gentle heat. Remove from the heat and store in the fridge until required
Making a cartouche
A cartouche is a circle of greaseproof paper tucked inside the pan, resting on top of the contents
11.
For the carrots, peel and half lengthways. Blanch in salted boiling water until tender, approximately 3-4 minutes, the strain, refresh in iced water and set aside
12.
Add the butter to a pan over a medium heat. Once foaming, add the baby spinach and cook for approximately 1 minute - until just wilted. Season with salt, remove from the pan and store on a tray lined generously with kitchen towel - this will absorb any excess water
13.
Before constructing the pithiviers, remove the cheeks from the fridge and use your hands to break the meat down into small flakes chunks
14.
Roll out the pastry to 4mm thickness and then leave to rest in the fridge for 45 minutes
15.
Lay out the pastry sheet and cut out 8 circles of pastry, 5 inches in diameter each
16.
Brush egg wash over 4 of the pastry bases. On each base, layer on the flaked ox cheek, the caramelised carrots, wilted spinach, some more ox cheek and the roasted shallots
Making egg wash
Egg wash can be made simply by mixing a beaten raw egg with some water or milk
17.
Lay the remaining circles of pastry on top, then smooth down on top of the filling, taking care not to tear the pastry. Press the edges of the top circle onto the edges of the base to seal each pithivier
18.
Brush the pithiviers all over with egg wash and leave in the fridge for 10 minutes
19.
Remove from the fridge, take a knife and starting at the top in the centre, score half circles down the sides, being careful not to pierce all the way through the pastry
20.
Where the edges meet, make a seal at the bottom and use a knife to score lines 1cm apart all the way around the base. Rest for a further 20 minutes in the fridge
21.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
22.
Remove the pithiviers from the fridge and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown
23.
Meanwhile, measure out 100g of choucroute per person and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix with the carrot, onion, olive oil, sugar and salt and pepper to taste
24.
Before assembling the final dish, reheat the braise reduction in a small pan and set aside
25.
Remove the pithiviers from the oven and place into the middle of each plate. Place a quenelle of the choucroute alongside followed by some baby spinach leaves and turnips. Drizzle over 2-3 tablespoons of the braise reduction and serve immediately
Send us feedback on this Pithivier recipe  

Corney & Barrow matching wine

Find out why Corney & Barrow match this Pithivier recipe with a medium and round red wine, a spicy and rich red wine, or a full bodied red wine

Ingredients

Ox cheek pithivier

Choucroute

Roasted shallots

  • 50ml of onion oil
  • 2g of Sea salt, fine
  • 1 pinch of black pepper
  • 300g of shallots
  • 20g of unsalted butter
  • 1g of thyme

Carrots and spinach

Puff pastry

  • 500g of puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, for egg wash

Garnish

Equipment

  1. Pastry cutter
  2. Pastry brush

Share this Recipe

Braised ox cheek comes encased in pastry and served with choucroute in this pithivier recipe from Colin McGurran

Chef

Restaurants

Recipe Collections

Seasonal

Indian

Recipes from the Indian subcontinent are full of rich aromas and aromatic spices. From spicy curries, to sweet treats and a plethora of side dishes - Indian recipes are far from minimal.    Our extensive collection of Indian recipes...