Now, before you start protesting and screaming that I am using port and it has too much sugar, here is what I have to say. Yes, there is sugar – port, tomato paste, carrots, onion – all of these come with some glucose and some fructose but when you divide the total amount in the dish between 3-4 portions, you’re coming in at around 5-6 grams per person. For some that’s still a lot, especially given that our daily intake should be around 10-15 grams, and that is why this is not a Monday night in with a movie kind of meal. No, this dish oozes decadency and could be featured at one of Marie Antoianette’s dinner parties; it’s for a special night in with friends or your lover and a glass of vintage Shiraz from Barossa. So, now that we’ve estbalished that this is a bit of treat as far as meat dishes go, let’s get to the good stuff.
Beef cheeks! The name ‘beef cheek’ refers to the facial cheek muscle of a cow. It’s a rather tough and lean cut of meat which requires a slow cooking method. But it’s also a bit magical, because given enough cooking time, it transforms into the most gorgeous, gelatinous, velvety, tender meat full of flavour and depth. For this recipe I used beef cheeks from one of my faves, Cape Grim Beef. It’s advisable to pre-order beef cheeks from your butcher, otherwise if you can’t find any something like beef brisket can also be used. The reason I used port instead of just red wine is that dark fortified wines add much more depth to the dish plus I wanted something sweeter with vanilla.
This dish is not difficult but is best prepared on a weekend when you have plenty of time to supervise the braising.
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Number of servings: 4
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Eat Drink Paleo is a little (well, not so little anymore) passion project I started in 2012. My name is Irena and I am a bunch of different things: recipe developer, cookbook author, amateur food photographer, and a self-proclaimed web geek. When I’m not travelling the world or hiking through the bush in search of a climbing crag or a waterfall of some sort, I am in my small kitchen in London or Sydney, or in a local cafe typing away a new post.