During the warmer months, it’s great to have a barbecue and toss together salads but winter dinners at our house are about slow-cooked meals with rich sauces and a creamy side dish like mash potatoes, mac & cheese, polenta and potato au gratin. Remember, carbs don’t count in winter! So tell me, what’s your favourite winter meal?
Now, one of my go-to slow-cooked meals is this classic winter dish of braised beef cheeks in red wine sauce. Serve it with blanched peas, and any of the side dishes above. Make a double batch and freeze some for a rainy day! Let me know what you think when you make it & don’t forget to snap a photo and use #mrsfancypants on Instagram for a chance to get featured!
The best thing about slow cooked meals nowadays is that they are so easy for everyone. You can simply sear your meat before leaving for work then set-up your slow-cooker to do the cooking and finish the dish when you get home. The 2 slow-cookers below are highly recommended, though I use my oven for all my slow-cooking. Amazon sometimes have better prices than in-store and if you click on the photos, they will take you to shop on Amazon. However, if you are in a hurry, The Good Guys offer a free 2-hour click & collect service as well as next day delivery in Metro areas.
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Braised Beef Cheeks in Red Wine Sauce
A perfect winter dish. Serve these tender beef cheeks with my velvety mash potatoes or creamy polenta.
- Preheat oven to 200C. Heat up oil in a sauté/casserole pan until smokey. Season beef cheeks with salt & pepper then sear all sides in the hot pan until golden brown. Take off the pan and set aside.
- Now add the onion and garlic. Cook the onion through without burning. Then add the carrot and celery. Drain off any excess oil. Pour red wine into the saucepan and quickly scrape the bits off the bottom then simmer until reduced by half.
- Now add the herbs and the beef stock. Bring to the boil then pour into a braising pan or roasting dish. Add the beef cheeks, cover with baking paper then wrap tightly with aluminium foil.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and turn the oven down to 150C. Leave to cook slowly for at least 3 hours up to 5 hours.
- Once done, remove the beef cheeks and set aside, then try to skim the fat off the top of the liquid and strain off all the vegetables to discard. If you have more time, I strain the liquid into another container and discard the vegetables. Then I let the liquid cool down in the fridge so the fat will solidify and I can easily scoop it out the next morning. Discard the fat.
- Put the strained liquid and the beef cheeks into a pot and reduce down the liquid to a nice saucey consistency. Serve warm with creamy polenta or mash potatoes.