Culinary Experiment: Thai-Inspired Braised Beef Cheeks
This is going to be a quick post. Mostly I just want to capture what I did so I can tweak it next time.
- ~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)
- 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.
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