Slow Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks, Star Anise, Roast Baby Carrots and Horseradish Crème Fraîche
There's just something cosy and satisfying about slow cooked meals, and this melt-in-your-mouth beef dish is no different. The perfect indulgence for a weekend dinner, it's best enjoyed with a glass of Shiraz and good company.
4 wagyu beef cheeks, sinew removed
1 bunch thyme, chopped
1 litre chicken stock
1 bottle of good red wine
2 star anise
1 onion, peeled and roughly diced
½ celery, roughly chopped
1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
6 bay leaves
80g tomato paste
20ml Lea and Perrin’s Worcestershire sauce
2 bunches baby carrots, scrubbed, leave a little bit of the stalk on
100g crème fraîche
40g horseradish cream
1 lemon, zested and juiced
20ml olive oil
Marinate the cheeks in the wine for 2 days.
Remove from the marinate and pat dry. Brown in a frying pan with the olive oil. In a good sized casserole dish gently sauté the celery, leek and onion until golden brown, add the marinade and reduce by half. Skim off any scum.
Add the stock, herbs, star anise, tomato paste and Worcestershire sauce. Add the cheeks, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook in a 150c oven for 6 hours. Check, the cheeks should be very soft.
Leave in the liquid over night to calm down and relax.
Whip the crème fraîche until firm then add the lemon juice, zest and relish. Check for seasoning.
To serve, gently warm the casserole and remove the cheeks. Strain the liquid then reduce until you have a lovely sauce. Roast the carrots in the butter for 20 minutes in a 180c oven until tender. Gently reheat the cheeks for 10 minutes.
Serve in a warm bowl with the sauce, carrots and a dollop of horseradish crème fraîche on top. Excellent with roast garlic mash or herby dumplings and a glass of Black Label Shiraz.
A good level of spice backed up with a red berry palate, shows strength and complexity and perfectly compliments this delicious beef dish.