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Culinary Experiment: Thai-Inspired Braised Beef Cheeks

by vmbrasseur on March 1st, 2014

This is going to be a quick post. Mostly I just want to capture what I did so I can tweak it next time.

Ingredients

  • oil
  • ~1 lb beef cheeks (~1 large cheek)
  • 1/2 lb turnips, in 1/2″ chunks (baby spring turnips preferred)
  • 1/2 lb carrots, in 1/2″ chunks
  • 4 baby leeks, whites parts only, well-cleaned & in 1″ chunks
  • 6 kumquats, sliced crosswise into ~4 bits (seeds removed)
  • 3 Tbl tomato paste
  • 2″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and smashed somewhat
  • 5 cloves garlic, smashed slightly
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, dry part removed, in 2″ chunks
  • ~5 star anise
  • 1 lg sprig fresh thyme
  • 8 whole hot red peppers
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups chicken stock (homemade preferred)

Method

  • Heat oil to shimmering. Then brown the beef cheek very well on both sides. Remove it from the pan and set aside.
  • Pour off the oil to 1 Tbl remains. Add smashed ginger and allow to brown well (move very little in the pan). Remove the ginger & place w/other ingredients (it’s coming back).
  • Add tomato paste, cook for ~3min.
  • Add beef cheek back to the pot, then all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.
  • Simmer for ~4hr.
  • Remove beef cheek, thyme stems, ginger, lemongrass, star anise, whole red peppers. Discard all EXCEPT the beef.
  • Turn pot to high and reduce by at least half.
  • When cooled, pull the beef cheek into bite-sized bits.
  • When the sauce is reduced, season to taste w/salt and add the beef back. Cook until heated through.
  • Serve over starch of your choice. I chose fresh pappardelle.

Corrections for next time

  • Overall: Very good! But it needs better balance.
  • Reduce kumquats by 1 or 2.
  • Reduce red peppers by half. I like heat, but I prefer balance.
  • I think the ginger could use a good blackening (broiler?) rather than a mere browning. It’d add a nice depth.

From → Food, Recipe

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