Orange Braised Beef Cheeks
ORANGE BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS
After our family trip to chilly Stanthorpe, I had the need for something warm and comforting and I wanted to use some juicy, fresh, in-season produce… like oranges! What a better pairing than beef cheeks and oranges for the family!
Beef Cheeks are the cheek muscle of cows and they are a very tough cut of meat that needs to be cooked long and slow to make it tender. It absorbs the flavours of braising liquid well and when you cut into it, it is stringy, almost like pulled pork.
But unlike beef chuck (used for beef stew), brisket and even beef short ribs, which have patches of really juicy sections and also some that can (sometimes) be a bit dry, not a single part of the beef cheek is dry. Every mouthful is juicy and luscious and even just typing up this post is making my mouth water!
And THAT is what makes them so special!!
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (160º fan-forced). Pat cheeks dry with paper towel and place in a large snap lock bag. Add flour, season and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Cook beef for 3 to 4 minutes, in batches, or until lightly browned. Set cheeks aside on a plate. Add 1 tbsp oil to same dish cook the onion, 2 garlic cloves, carrot and celery for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the orange juice and zest, wine, stock, vanilla bean and seeds, sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil and return beef to the dish. Remove from heat, cover surface with a circle of baking paper and cover with a lid or foil.
- Cook in the oven for 2 hours or until tender. Remove the cheeks from the sauce and reduce sauce over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season to taste, remove bay leaves and thyme stalks and return beef to the dish. Stir through orange segments.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add brussels sprouts and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly charred. Add beans and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Season.
- Serve beef cheeks with vegetables, brown rice and Greek yoghurt, if desired.
- Beef cheeks could be substituted with diced chuck or gravy beef.
- This recipe is ideal to freeze – just omit the orange segments and add them after reheating.
- Wholemeal cous cous would be a great alternative to rice.