Braised beef cheek with plums with mashed potatoes and saffron. I cannot say that this is a quick dish to prepare, he cooked for over 5 hours, but I guarantee that if you get the beef cheek and the patience to wait and wait and wait for your effort will be richly rewarded. Coming from a person that red meat just doesn't love her something surely must mean. The preparation is simple but time is of the essence: the meat should marinate for at least 24 hours (Yes, you got it, at least 24 hours) in a great red wine, I used the Valpolicella Ripasso superior Rocca Sveva, with a large number of aromas including cinnamon, Juniper, cardamom, Ginger, star anise, cloves, Laurel, papá. And even vegetables and fruit, because I put in marinating prunes and then cooked with the meat. As you know, But if you don't I tell you, the cheek is a fine cut, rich in connective tissue but, with long cooking jelly making the flesh of an extreme softness. Literally melts in your mouth. The plums give a special touch, fruity and sweet, and I accompanied the dish with mashed potatoes with saffron and cinnamon. I challenge you to try it! But hurry because it's not exactly a summer dish…
Ingredients for 4 people:
for the marinade
- 2 beef or veal cheeks
- 1 liter of red wine and excellent quality (I used a Ripasso della Valpolicella)
- 1 carrot
- half a stalk of celery
- an onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 juniper berries
- 2 cloves
- 4 black peppercorns, crushed
- 4 white peppercorns, crushed
- 1 cm fresh ginger root, grated
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 cardamom seeds
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar of Modena
- 1 star anise Berry
- a sprig of Rosemary
- 15 dried plums without stones
- salt to taste
- a teaspoon of sugar
- 1,5 liters of veal gravy (or the same amount of water with the stock powder, but better the Fund!)
- 30 grams of butter
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 12 dried prunes soaked in warm water
for the mashed potato
- 4 large potatoes, preferably Avezzano
- whole milk as required
- 6-7 saffron pistils
- cinnamon powder as required
- salt and pepper
- 40 grams butter
Cut the beef cheeks in 2 pieces if they are small, in 4 if they are large. Arrange on a baking sheet large and sprinkle with wine and vinegar. Add in the Pan all the aromas, the spices, carrot and celery sliced, the quartered onion and prunes. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 24 hours, Turning meat occasionally so that marini evenly.
After the time of the pickling, drain the meat from the marinade and Brown in a large pan with the oil and butter until it forms a golden crust on all sides. Combine the vegetables from the marinade and brown them slightly, then add the entire contents of the Pan, wine, spices, fruit and aromas. Add the veal gravy and bring to a boil. Season with salt, pepper, Add the sugar and cover: Cook for at least 4 hours over a very low heat, until meat begins to fall apart.
The sauce at this point will be dense and glossy. Filter it into a colander and put it back into the Pan: If there appears to be quite thick (unlikely) You can either do it narrow over heat or combine one tablespoon of cornstarch dissolved in a little water. In this way will thicken in a minute. Combine dried plums already soften remaining and the meat and keep warm.
For the mashed potato, wash the potatoes and peel them, then sliced them and put them in a pot. Cover flush with milk, Add salt and cook over low heat covered until it becomes hold. Pass the potatoes with a masher, mix in the butter, season with salt, pepper and add the Saffron dissolved in a little warm milk. Stir over heat, adding more milk if necessary and finally cinnamon. Keep warm. Serve the cheek sprayed with its sauce, prunes and mashed potatoes powdered cinnamon.
THE PAIRING: We suggest the Valpolicella Ripasso top “Rocca Sveva“, produced by Cantina Di Soave. A red that is characterized by its aromas of fruit, including cherry, Mora, with notes of vanilla. Persistent taste and soft thanks to a network of very delicate tannins.