Market ingredient: Linga Longa Beef Cheeks
Difficulty: Requires 10 hrs of cooking time
Deliciousness: Intensely rich
Did The Beard like it? “I can feel it making me fat”.
It’s nice to find something at Eveleigh Markets again that I’ve never actually cooked before. The amazing butcher from Linga Longa Farm (the same guy that does those amazing Cattleman’s cut of beef) had some incredible looking beef cheeks. I LOVE this cut of meat when out at restaurants: so rich and intense, full of meaty meaty flavour.
The recipe below is a bit of a mish-mash of a bunch of different things; a few flavours that I really love and that I figured would go really well with such a rich piece of meat. I cooked this dish for nearly 10 hours and then actually let it cool and served it up the next day. It was really quite beautiful, but a bit rich and a bit much for just 2 people. I would say this could have easily fed 4 people. Easily.
Ingredients for Chinese braised beef cheeks
- 1 tspn coriander seeds
- 1 tspn whole peppercorns
- 1 tspn chopped coriander roots
- 1 green onion, white part finely sliced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small chilli
- 1 pinch of salt.
- 500g beef cheeks
- 1 L beef stock
- 100mL soy
- 1 tbsp black vinegar
- splash rice wine
- 3 star anise
- 1 cinnamon quill
- extra shallot, sliced chilli and coriander leaves to serve
- Preheat the oven to 120C.
- Put the first 7 ingredients into a mortar and pestle and grind into a paste. Adjust the flavours to suite your taste.
- Pour a glug of vegetable oil in a large casserole pot and heat over a medium – hot stove. Place the spice paste in the oil and fry until fragrant.
- Place the beef cheeks in the pot and turn to brown the outside of the meat.
- Add the stock, soy, vinegar, rice wine, star anise and cinnamon quill and cover with lid.
- Place the dish in the oven and cook slowly for 10 hrs. Either serve immediately or let cool and place in the fridge and let the flavours develop for tomorrow.
- If you’re going to serve immediately, remove the dish from the oven and remove the meat from the stock, cover and set aside. Place the casserole dish with the cooking liquid back on the stove top and bring to a simmer. Reduce the liquid down by 1/3.
- Place the meat in a serving dish and drizzle with the thickened cooking liquids.
- Garnish with freshly chopped green onions, coriander and fresh chilli.
Doing this again, I would probably used less stock and just made sure I was basting the meat throughout the cooking period. The dish in itself was absolutely fine – just that it had a lot of liquid in the end and I felt like it was a bit too much.
Would I do this dish again? Probably yes, but it’s not like beef cheeks are really a dish you can just whip up at any time. You have to commit to cooking it for a long time and be prepared to wait. As I mentioned a little earlier, it was lovely, but incredibly rich. The meat looks amazingly ugly when you cook it, but just so delicious to eat it. Definitely a minute-on-the-lips-a-lifetime-on-the-hips kind of dish. My favourite kind.