Fortunately, Shane Blake at Foundation Foods has all the time, skills and gear to transform my average everyday meals into fantastic fare.
1 kg of beef cheeks (cut into 3cm cubes, leave the fat on)
100g unbleached white flour
sea salt and ground pepper
canola oil (enough to fry the meat in)
2 large carrots (chopped)
2 large onions (chopped)
2 leeks (chopped)
a splash of red wine (optional)
1 tsp dried tarragon
1 tsp dried sage
4 bay leaves
1 litre Foundation Foods beef stock
500mls dark stout beer (I like No 8 Wired The Big Smoke, although a chocolate stout works wonders too)
200g tomato paste
50g brown sugar
• Coat the beef cheek cubes in a mix of the flour salt and pepper, dust off the excess.
• In a large heavy bottomed pot, add enough canola oil to cover the bottom at a height of a few millimeters. Over medium high heat, brown the beef cheeks in small batches (so they don't stew) and set aside.
• In the same pot, fry the carrots, onions and leeks all at the same time until they soften, and start to brown just a tad. Add a splash of red wine to deglaze the bottom and cook a couple minutes more to burn off the alcohol.
• Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
• At this point, you can either add the beef cheek cubes and bring to a simmer for a few hours, or (my preference), place the beef cheeks in a large casserole dish and pour the liquid / vegetable mix over them and cover with foil. Some like to add a couple of sprigs of rosemary.
• Bake at 170˚ for 3 hours, checking the fluid level once in the middle of the cooking. If you are simmering, keep the lid on and stir occasionally, watching your liquid levels. If you run low in either case, add some more beef stock.
To Serve: At the restaurant in Kinloch, we like serving this with a dollop of horseradish cream (horseradish mixed with heavy whipped cream or sour cream) alongside a parsnip mash.