Ox cheek, olive & chorizo stew

“CHEEKS?!” I hear you cry…give them a go, you’ll never buy braising or stewing steak again – they’re the most mouth wateringly delicious, tender pieces of beef you’ll ever have. You should be able to buy them from any good local butcher (although you may have to give them some notice to get them in) or failing that, Waitrose often sell them on their meat counter as part of their ‘forgotten cuts’ range.

Ingredients: 

2 tablespoons mild olive oil

150g chorizo

3 onions

3 red peppers

2 whole ox cheeks

1 tablespoon plain flour

1 chicken stock cube

Water

Ground black pepper

300g black (or green if you’d prefer) pitted olives in brine (drained)

Instructions: 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees
  2. Chop the chorizo in to rough cubes approx 3cm long
  3. Slice the onions in half, peel off the outer skin and finely slice in to semi circles
  4. Cut the peppers in to thin strips
  5. Put a large pan (with lid that can go to the oven – a casserole pot that can go on the hob is best if you have one) on to a medium heat on the hob and add the olive oil
  6. Pop the chorizo in the pan and cook until it starts to release its lovely red oil
  7. Add in the onions and peppers and give them a good stir. Leave to cook giving the occasional stir for approx 10 minutes, or until the onions and peppers have started to soften
  8. Roughly cut the ox cheek in to 5cm sized cubes (you’ll need to give it a bit of wellie with a sharp knife to get through – don’t be tempted to cut off the fat and sinew – this all adds to the texture and flavour of the dish and you won’t notice it when it’s cooked)
  9. Crank up the heat on the hob and add in the cubed ox cheeks. Stir to coat the cheeks and let them brown a little on the outside
  10. Sprinkle over the flour, crumble in the stock cube and pop in a couple of pinches of black pepper then give it all a good stir
  11. Pour in enough water to just about cover the contents of the pan and give everything another good stir to melt the stock cube and ensure everything is nicely mixed together
  12. Lower the heat a little and leave on the hob until the content are slightly bubbling and simmering
  13. Remove from the hob, pop a tight lid on the pan and place in the oven for 3 and half hours (stir a couple of times over the 3 and a half hour period and return the lid after each stir)
  14. Remove from the oven, add in the olives, give a final good stir then put back in the oven with the temperature turned up to 180 degrees for a final half an hour
  15. Serve with mash potato (or some nice smoked cheese polenta!), green veg and a good hearty glass of red wine.

Enjoy!

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