Recipe Vicki Ravlich Horan, Images Ashlee DeCaires
Beef cheek is a super-rich meat that when cooked slowly makes for a gorgeous ragu which is delicious tossed through fettuccini, in a lasagne or served with creamy mash or polenta.
In this case I have paired it with Meyer Cheese’s black pepper gouda and my sour cream pastry. It makes one large family sized pie or around eight individual pies. If making the individual pies you will use more pastry so times the pastry recipe by 1.5.
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1kg beef cheek
¼ cup flour
salt & pepper
½ cup red wine
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
200g Meyer Cheese Black Pepper Gouda
Preferably in a Dutch oven or alternatively a heavy based fry pan, heat a little oil and sweat the onion and carrot, being careful to not brown them. While they are cooking dust the beef cheeks in the flour and season with salt and pepper.
When the onion is translucent, remove them and carrots from the pan. Add a little more oil and then place the beef cheeks in. Brown the cheeks well on both sides then add the red wine. When the red wine has cooked off, add the cooked onion and carrots back in, along with the remaining ingredients, except the cheese.
If not using a Dutch oven, place everything in an ovenproof dish. My Dutch oven is quite large so I cut a piece of baking paper, scrunched it and then placed it on the top of the stew before placing the lid on top.
Either way cook in an oven preheated to 160°C for 3 to 3 hours 20 minutes, or until the beef cheek falls apart. Allow the meat to cool to room temperature.
2 cups flour
200g cold butter, chopped
½– ¾ cup sour cream
1 egg, beaten
extra cracked pepper
Put the flour and chopped butter in a food processor and process till it resembles fine breadcrumbs. With the motor running add half a cup of sour cream slowly, more if it is not coming together. You want it to form a ball. Wrap and rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.
Roll the pastry out and line the bottom of your pie tin/s. Fill with the beef cheek mix and top this with the black pepper gouda. Top with a pastry lid, brush with a beaten egg and sprinkle with an extra grind of black pepper.
Bake at 190°C for 45–60 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.