Pedro ximenez beef cheek

all details

These lesser cuts of beef are also great value to buy and, when teamed with the incredible winter vegetables available, all bases are covered. Except for the final important decision: which red to open.

Pedro Ximenez beef cheek.
Pedro Ximenez beef cheek. Photo: Marina Oliphant

Ingredients

3kg beef cheeks

100ml olive oil

2 brown onions, chopped

1 whole head of garlic, split

2 carrots, chopped

1/4 bunch thyme

3 fresh bay leaves

1 cinnamon stick

2 star anise

1lt Pedro Ximenez sherry

500ml red wine

 

Method

Heat oven to 200C. Clean sinew from beef cheeks, season with sea salt and place cheeks on a baking tray. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes each side. Remove when well browned.

In a heavy-based pot, heat olive oil and caramelise onion, garlic head and carrots. Add herbs and spices and cook for 3 minutes. Add sherry and wine, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add browned cheeks, top up with 1 litre of water, cover with baking paper and a lid, then simmer for 3 hours or until tender. The cheeks should be tender but firm enough to stay intact. To test this, squeeze the cheek - if it's soft but doesn't fall apart, it's ready.

Remove cheeks from sauce and place in a small baking tray. Reduce sauce by half and pass through a sieve over cheeks.

Serve with cauliflower puree - spoon some puree into the centre of a plate, place a cheek on the edge of the puree, then spoon a small amount of sauce over.

 

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  • Main Ingredients - Beef
  • Course - Dinner
  • Occasion - Dinner Party

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8 reviews so far

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    This was a FAIL dinner. The cheeks were like the proverbial old boots, hard, not at all soft, little flavour, hard to cut. I followed the recipe exactly, and believe the problem is the initial roasting of the cheeks. ALL the other recipes I have now checked call for a quick saute of each side of the cheek, then slow simmering. Several also called for marinating the meat, as long as overnight to intensify the flavours. The cheeks came out of the 200C oven as hard little lumps - I should have trusted my intuition and not wasted bottles of sherry and wine. The sauce was great BTW, hard to eat with mash and veg though. I'll be interested to see if others have success with this recipe.

    Commenter
    Petalpopsicle
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    July 18, 2013, 5:27PM
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Drop the oven temp down to 140c for the 3 hours. I browned the cheeks and then brought to simmer and had preheated oven to 140c.
    Came out tender, tasty and enjoyable. 1 cheek per woman and 2 per bloke seemed to work for us.
    3kgs covered 4 couples.

    Commenter
    Paddy
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 23, 2013, 10:52PM
  • I made this using a similar Franc Camorra recipe. Since I couldn't get Pedro Ximinez locally (now rectified) I used port and cooked it in a slow cooker. Absolutely amazing. one fo the best beef cheeks dishes I've cooked. Fellow beef producers were highly impressed.

    Commenter
    Milton Beef
    Date and time
    July 24, 2013, 12:03PM
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

    I must admit that I was a bit skeptical about cooking this recipe after reading the first review. However it was beyond my expectations. This dish was so easy to make, so tasty and absolutely plate licking. I made the effort to purchase he sherry that was recommended in the recipe. I think that played a large part in the tastiness of the sauce. Also putting paper between the lid and the base of the casserole meant that the liquid didn't evaporate over the three hours. Honestly this dish was so good I would have paid money for it had it been served to me in a restaurant. Looking forward to trying more of Frank Camorra's recipes.

    Commenter
    Bidgee
    Location
    Northern Beaches
    Date and time
    July 27, 2013, 1:24PM
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    This was a SUCCESS dinner. My partner and I are still talking about it. We both agreed that if this dish was served to us in a restaurant we would have paid good money for it. I need to work on my cauliflower puree but even that couldn't take away from the exquisite flavours, the tenderness of the beef and the richness of the sauce. I took the time to track down the sherry in the recipe and I think this may have made a huge difference.
    I would love to know what "red wine" the Chef used. Would love to make it again using his recommendation. I used a Cab Merlot but I think a cab sav would be even better.
    Although this recipe takes a long time to cook, it takes no time to prepare and after that you can put your feet up while it slowly bubbles away.

    Commenter
    Bidgee
    Location
    Northern Beaches
    Date and time
    July 30, 2013, 10:20AM
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Ignore the first review, this is a cracking dish. I used beef short ribs instead of cheeks. Brown ribs first in cast iron pot, then remove and follow next steps. I cooked in the oven on 140 to 150 degrees for three hours rather than on the stove. Much easier. Absolutely delicious sauce too. Have made it several times now and never fails to impress guests. Yum.

    Commenter
    Markb
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    August 11, 2013, 11:45AM
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    I have had eaten this dish at Movida, and then cooked it using this recipe a couple of weeks later. This recipe is EXCELLENT and the results are near identical to the restaurant dish.

    I cooked my cheeks for 4 hours to get them to the truly fall apart tender stage. A few other tweaks I made was to reduce the sauce by more than half to concentrate the flavours further, as it's still a bit watery otherwise. You should also season the sauce with a good whack of salt when you finish reducing (not mentioned in the recipe). There's no seasoning otherwise to balance the intense sweetness from the PX.

    I decided to make celeriac puree instead of cauliflower. This was naturally still a delicious pairing.

    Commenter
    Delicioso
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 16, 2014, 12:37PM
  • Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars

    This really needs some modification for domestic cookery. Fancy going to the expense of heating an oven to 200 just to put the meat in to brown! That may be OK in a commercial kitchen, where ovens will be heated for a range of dishes, but not in a house. The simple answer is to do what I do and lightly flour the beef cheek, and then quickly brown them in a frying pan. Simmering for a few hours on the stovetop for 3 hours is again OK in a commercial kitchen where a kitchen hand can regularly check that the heat's being maintained at a slow simmer. At home, you may want to be doing other things. When I cook beef cheeks, after the browning, I always do what Milton Beef refers to above, and put them into the slow cooker. Use the sherry to deglaze the pan after browning the cheeks, and at the same time reduce the liquid by boiling it rapidly for a few minutes -- you get rid of the alcohol at the same time and avoid the risk of that terrible raw alcohol flavour in the finished dish. I'd also omit the litre of water, as there will be plenty of great flavour and juices in the cooking. Omitting the litre of water will also cut down on the final reduction you need. And with the slow cooker on High for 4 hours, you can go for a walk, do some gardening or whatever you like while the meal cooks away peacefully.

    Commenter
    Double Dee
    Location
    Warrawee
    Date and time
    August 17, 2014, 11:15AM

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