Start your year with this tasty beef cheeks recipe

Slow cooked Scotch Beef PGI cheeks with skirlie, glazed carrots and Bovril potatoes (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients Instructions
  • 4 Scotch Beef cheeks, approx. 400g per cheek
  • 24g sea salt
  • 2 ltr beef stock
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • 250ml red wine
  • 150g butter, diced
  • Oil, for cooking
  • Glazed carrots: 6 carrots, medium sized
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 175g butter, diced
  • 150ml champagne (or your bubbly of choice such as prosecco or cava)
  • 1 ltr beef stock
  • Oil, for cooking
  • Salt, for seasoning
  • Skirlie: 150g pinhead oats
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 50g beef dripping
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped
  • 50ml sauce from the cheeks
  • Bovril potatoes: 2kg Maris piper potatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp Bovril (optional)
  • 100g butter
  • Salt, for seasoning
  • The day before cooking: Prepare a brine by heating 3 litres of water and the 24g of sea salt until the salt has dissolved. Once this has fully cooled, trim the cheeks and add them to the brine. Let them sit in the brine for at least 4 hours or overnight. This step is optional but adds even more flavour to the delicious cheeks.
  • On the day of cooking: Before starting to cook, remove the cheeks an hour before starting to allow them to come to room temp.
  • Pre heat the oven to 180C. Heat a heavy-based casserole dish on the hob at a medium high heat and add a couple table spoons of oil.
  • Once the oil is very hot, add the cheeks and colour heavily on all sides. This is essential to developing good flavour.
  • Once coloured, remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside. Turn the heat down a little. Now add the butter, followed by the carrot, celery and garlic, and allow this to cook for about 5 minutes until lightly coloured.
  • Add the red wine, and once reduced by half, add the stock and bring to a boil and then back down to a gentle simmer.
  • Add the bay, thyme and add the cheeks back in.
  • Place a tightly fitting lid on and put the casserole dish in the oven for 2 and a half hours.
  • Remove the dish from the oven and check that the meat is tender. If ready, then carefully remove the cheeks from the pan and strain the stock through a sieve.
  • Add the stock back to the pan and reduce this on a high heat until it becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  • Take 50ml of this sauce out and keep aside for the skirlie.
  • Add the cheeks back in to the pan and keep warm.
  • Glazed carrots: Peel the carrots and cut into pieces about 7cm long. Heat a heavy based saucepan with a little oil on a medium high heat and add the carrots with a little salt for seasoning.
  • Colour the carrots until golden and then add the champagne. Reduce this by a third and then add all the remaining ingredients. Top up with water to ensure the carrots are submerged by about an inch.
  • Turn up the heat to a gentle boil and continue to cook for about 15 minutes until almost all the liquid has gone. Shaking the pan every now and then to move the carrots around.
  • Once the carrots are tender, turn the heat up high to finish reducing the liquid and creating a shiny glaze on the carrots. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
  • Bovril potatoes: Peel and thinly slice the potatoes. Ideally do this on a mandoline, the thinner the better. Peel and very thinly slice the onions.
  • In an ovenproof dish, arrange a layer with a third of the potatoes, followed by a third of the onions. Add a little salt for seasoning and a drizzle a teaspoon of Bovril across the layer.
  • Repeat this process two more times to fill the dish and then pour over the stock.
  • Distribute the diced butter on top and place the dish in the oven (already pre heated to 180C) for 1 hour.
  • Turn the oven up to 210C and finish in the oven for 15 minutes to crisp up the top before serving.
  • Skirlie: Melt the dripping in a frying pan and add in the shallots with a little salt.
  • Cook the shallots for 5 minutes until they are lightly caramelised.
  • Add the oats and stir well to ensure the fat is being absorbed evenly and cook them on a low heat for about 8 minutes until toasted, lightly cooked, but still retaining bite. Now add the sauce from the beef cheeks and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley.
  • Adjust the seasoning if needed and keep warm.
  • To serve: Bring the casserole pan with the cheeks up to a gentle boil and carefully baste the Scotch Beef Cheeks with the sauce and turn them over a few times to glaze the cheeks. Spoon the skirlie between your serving plates and place a cheek on top, followed by lots of the sauce form the pan. Add the carrots to the plate. Put the potato dish on the table as a side for everyone to help themselves.

Recipe © Make It Scotch | http://www.makeitscotch.com