As summer draws to a close and autumn arrives, late 'al fresco' dinners over looking the vines move inside by the fire. Light summer menus and fresh salads from the garden are replaced with hearty dishes that warm and restore.
A regular favourite here at The Hungry Cyclist Lodge is slow braised beef cheeks. Easy to prepare and unimaginably unctuous, they are full of flavour and the slow braise fills the house with glorious smells, perfect when returning from a days cycling and wine tasting in Burgundy. Paired with a creamy mash, flavoured with local Dijon mustard, this is a dish perfectly suited for autumn nights.
- 3 beef cheeks
- 100 g flour
- 1 litre of red wine (pinot noir if you have it)
- 1 litre of beef stock
- 3 shallots, finely chopped
- Salt & pepper to taste
- fresh thyme
- Olive oil
- Cut the cheeks into halves of quarters depending on the size of the cheeks and the appetite of your guests. Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Add the flour to mixing bowl and add 1 tsp of salt and a healthy pinch or two of ground pepper. Add the beef cheeks and mix through with your fingers until the cheek pieces are all covered in flour.
- Heat a good glug of olive oil in a heavy casserole until hissing. Add the floured cheeks and turn until browned on all sides. Set aside.
- Add a glass or two of the red wine to the casserole to deglaze. Now add the shallots and thyme and cook until the shallots are translucent.
- Put the cheeks back in the casserole and add the remaining red wine and beef stock. Cover and cook for 4 hours at 180 c / gas mark 4. One hour before serving remove the casserole lid, and cook for a further hour.
- Serve each cheek piece onto a good dollop of mash and plenty of the juice.
For the mash
- 4 large potatoes
- 100 g butter, cubed.
- 150 ml cream
- 2 table spoons of Dijon Mustard
- Salt & pepper to taste.
- Quarter the potatoes and boil until tender.
- Drain the potatoes and put back in the pan.
- Add the butter and either mash or puree with a hand blender.
- Once the butter has been incorporated pour in the cream and mustard.
- Continue to mash or puree over a gentle heat.