Patience has never been my strong point. When I want things done, I want it straight away and a few years ago I realized my husband just doesn’t work on the same time zone as I do.
Every Monday night I used to ask “Can you take the trash out?”
“Yes.” He would reply.
Five minutes later he still hadn’t done so. “I thought you were going to take the trash out?” I would remind him.
Finally, one day, fed up with my nagging he said “When I say I’ll take out the trash, I’ll take it out when I want to, if you can’t wait, then take the trash out yourself.”
Hmph! Since then, I haven’t bugged him about the trash (well, or any other house chores really) because given a choice between doing it myself or having him do it “on his own time”, I’d rather wait.
On my recent Melbourne trip I was pleased to discover that Movida was a few steps away from my hotel. I managed to sneak in a lunch and had (among other things) the slowly braised beef cheek (Carrillera De Buey). What can I say? Here was a well-marbled piece of meat, covered in a sticky, glossy Pedro Ximenez Sherry sauce and served with the creamiest cauliflower puree.
When I got back to Sydney I raved about the dish to my husband and I promised to make it for him after I found the recipe in the Movida Rustica cookbook.
For a number of days he’d ask “When am I going to try the Movida beef cheeks?”
“Soon.” I said.
The other day he said “Are you ever going to make the beef cheeks? I’m beginning to doubt that I’ll ever get to taste them!”
Here was my chance.
“When I say that I’m going to make the beef cheeks, I’ll make it when I want to. If you can’t wait, then make the beef cheeks yourself!”
This dish takes lots of patience but minimal work is required. Like most braised dishes, the beef cheeks are seared over a high heat first and then simmered for a long time to break down the connective tissue collagen in the meat. The hardest part is having to wait 3 to 4 hours before you can eat the dish – but just remember that “Good things come to those who wait!”
Beef Cheeks with Pedro Ximenez
From Richard Cornish and Frank Camorra ‘s Movida Rustica
- 1.5 kh beef cheeks
- 125 ml olive oil
- 3 carrots, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, halved
- 1 brown onion, sliced
- 500 ml Pedro Ximenez Sherry
- 500 ml red wine
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
- 185 ml cream
- 40 grams butter
- Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any new sinew and silver skin. Season well.
- Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
- Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic, onion and saute over high heat for 12 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the sherry, wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and 500 ml water. Reduce the heat as low as possible, add the beef cheeks, then cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart.
- Meanwhile, put the cauliflower, cream and butter in a saucepan, season to taste with salt, then cover and cook over low heat for 35 minutes, or until very tender. Place the cauliflower mixture in a blender and process until smooth. Keep the puree warm.
- The sauce from the beef cheeks should by now be reduced and glaze like. It if needs further reducing, remove the cheeks from the pan, cover with foil to keep them warm, and simmer the sauce over high heat until nicely reduced. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pan; gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.
- Serve the cheeks and their sauce on warm plates with the cauliflower puree.