Beef Cheeks with Sweet Potato Mash
Melt in your mouth beef cheeks served on a luxurious bed of sweet potato mash and smothered in a rich gravy - comfort food, taken to the next level! We're the first to admit this is not a quick recipe, but it's definitely worth the wait and the perfect dish to cook on a cold, rainy afternoon.
- Prep Time: 30m
- Cooking Time: 4h 30m
- Passive Time: 0m
For the Beef
- 6qty Beef Cheeks, trimmed
- 30gm Gwydir Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 300gm Red Onion, finely diced
- 150gm Carrot, finely diced
- 150gm Celery, finely diced
- 6qty Sprigs of Thyme, leaves stripped
- 3qty Fresh Bay Leaves
- 1qty Star Anise
- 20gm Bredbo Black Garlic, finely diced
- 80gm Jam Packed with Fruit Five Berry Jam
- 100gm Beef Stock Gel
- 1000gm Water
- 250gm Red Wine
- 2gm Olsson's Smoked Sea Salt Flakes
- 2gm Black Pepper
- 50gm Gwydir Grove Balsamic Vinegar
For the Mash
- 2.4kg Sweet Potatoes
- 100gm Unsalted Butter
- 0.5gm Olsson's Smoked Sea Salt Flakes, crushed
- 0.5gm Black Pepper
For the Beef
- Pre-heat a fan-forced oven to 170c.
- In a large bowl, cover the beef cheeks with half the olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Ensure each piece is thoroughly coated and set aside for 10 minutes.
- In a large skillet (that can hold at least 4ltr and has a lid), brown each of the pieces of meat over a high heat.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add the remaining olive oil and then gently fry the onion, carrot, celery, black garlic, bay leaves, thyme and star anise until they begin to soften (about 8 minutes). Remember to stir occasionally, to ensure even cooking.
- Remove the star anise from the vegetables, deglaze the pan with the red wine and cook for a further 2 minutes on a high heat.
- Add the jam, gel stock and water and mix thoroughly then cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Return the beef to the skillet and ensure the liquid covers each piece of beef. Cover the skillet with the lid and cook in an oven for 4 hours at 170c.
- Once the beef is cooked and meltingly tender, remove the skillet from the oven. Carefully seperate the meat from the vegetables and liquid.
- Remove the bay leaves and, using a food processor or blender, liquidise the vegetables and juice until they form a thick gravy. Remember, the liquid will be very hot so don't forget to put the lid on and be careful of splashes!
- Return the gravy to the skillet, add the balsamic vinegar and cook over a medium heat for a further 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Turn off the heat and reintroduce the beef to the gravy. Allow the beef to sit in the gravy for 5 minutes before serving.
For the Mash
- Place the whole sweet potatoes (with their skins on) in a shallow roasting tray.
- Roast in an oven for 3 hours at 170c until the entire sweet potato becomes soft when tested with a metal skewer.
- Remove the sweet potato from the oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes.
- Carefully open each sweet potato with a sharp knife and scrap out the flesh with a spoon - the skins can be discarded.
- Pass the sweet potato flesh through a drum sieve with a medium mesh using a dough scraper.
- Add the unsalted butter, salt and pepper and stir until the butter melts. Once fully combined, the sweet potato mash should be kept warm until you're ready to serve.
- Place a portion of the sweet potato mash in the bottom of a bowl and make a shallow well using the back of a spoon.
- Place a beef cheek in the centre of the mash and ladle over some of the gravy.
We used a Merlot for this recipe as it's quite mellow and fruity but you could use any quality red of your choosing - remember, if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it. If you don't have a drum sieve, you can mash the sweet potato with a conventional masher, but be mindful to remove all lumps. Also, if you can't find beef cheeks, this recipe works equally well with beef blade roast, trimmed and cut into portion sized chunks (remember the meat will shrink a little) and allow a little longer to cook.