Thursday is an uber-long day for my family – husband works in Geelong and I do both drop-off and pick-up to and from creche/school/after-care, as well as travel into the CBD for work. The slow-cooker has become our uncomplicated saviour – I bung all the ingredients into it around 8am, set the timer and temperature and simply plonk it onto 4 plates once I collapse in the door at 6pm. I firmly believe that the slow-cooked movement will head off an apocalypse.
I made this little gem last Thursday – I found beef cheeks at Aldi of all places and nearly did a little wee-peeking jig as I LOVE me some beef cheeks and the way they fall apart if you cook them for long enough. I bastardised the recipe from Eat Drink Paleo, adjusting it to my tastes and to suit a slow cooker. You can casserole it in the oven, just make sure the temperature is down really low.
- 3-4 beef cheeks cut in half, sinew removed
- 2/3 cup port or sherry (or if you’re not into sweetish meals, use a red such as Shiraz)
- 1-2 split vanilla beans or 1-2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 500 ml beef stock
- 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 5 cloves
- 2/3 tsp cardamon seeds
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil for frying
- 1 tbsp butter
- 3 french shallots, cut in half (or 1 brown onion sliced)
- 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
- Salt and pepper
- Season beef cheeks with salt and pepper. Brown the beef cheeks over a high heat in a frying pan. Place in slow-cooker, making sure they don’t overlap.
- Deglaze the pan and add the remaining ingredients except the carrot. Mix through and bring to almost simmer, then pour over beef cheeks in the slow cooker. If the liquid doesn’t cover the beef cheeks fully, add some more port or beef stock.
- Cook for 8-10 hours on low (or 5ish hours at about 150 degrees celsius in the oven). The beef cheeks should be super soft and come apart at the nudging of a fork.
- About an hour before serving (if you can be bothered), add carrots.
- Serve with mashed potato and broccolini (or greens of choice).