SWEET SOY-BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS with Mango Salad
Adapted from West Coast Prime Meats Cooks © 2015
Mango Salad Dressing
- Four tablespoons sesame oil
- One tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
- One garlic clove, peeled
- One teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- One kaffir lime leaf, very finely chopped
- Three tablespoons grapeseed oil
- Three tablespoons lime juice
- One teaspoon palm sugar
Place all ingredients in a blender jar and blend on medium speed until smooth. If not using immediately, cover and chill until needed.
- One mango, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- Eight spring onions, finely sliced
- One-third of a seedless cucumber, peeled and sliced
- Two tablespoons fresh mint, rough chopped
- Two tablespoons cilantro, rough chopped
- Two tablespoons Thai basil, rough chopped
- One lime, cut in four wedges, for garnish
Mix all salad ingredients in a bowl, toss with the mango salad dressing and serve.
Sweet Soy-Braised Beef Cheeks
- Four pounds beef cheeks, trimmed
- Half-cup vegetable oil
- Three carrots, peeled and sliced 1/2-inch thick
- Six stalks celery, leaves & base trimmed, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- One large onion, peeled, cored and cut in 1/2-inch dice
- Four garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- One medium-sized piece fresh ginger (three ounces), peeled and sliced 1/4-inch thick
- One star anise pod
- One stalk lemon grass, crushed
- Three tablespoons pomegranate molasses
- Six tablespoons sweet Indonesian soy sauce (Kekap manis)
- Two tablespoons sweet chilli sauce
- Three kaffir lime leaves, bruised
- Approximately two cups (16 ounces) veal or beef stock
- Three green cardamom pods, crushed
- Grated zest of one orange and one lemon
- Three tablespoons lime juice
- One tablespoon toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Two cups Mango Salad (see recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and sauté the beef cheeks on both sides until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same pan, add the carrots, celery and onions and sauté gently over medium heat until golden brown.
- Place the beef in a lidded casserole or heavy ovenproof dish. Add the vegetables and all the remaining ingredients, except the sesame seeds. Add enough water to cover the mixture and allow one inch of liquid above the meat.
- Place a circle of parchment paper or waxed paper on top and cover the dish with the lid.
- Bake in the oven for three hours. The meat will be ready when it feels tender and is almost to the breaking point.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and let the meat rest in the sauce for 30 minutes (otherwise it will dry out).
- Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce, place it in a dish and cover it with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out.
- Strain the sauce through a fine sieve over a sauce pan. Once strained, bring the sauce to a boil and skim the surface. Allow the sauce to reduce to a nice, rich consistency (about 20 minutes), then turn off the heat and add the reserved meat. (Note: If you have cooked the meat a day in advance, keep the sauce on a very low flame, add the chilled meat and cook until warmed through, about 5 to 8 minutes.)
- To serve, place a mound of the mango salad on one side of each plate. Plate a piece of the meat on the other side and ladle the sauce over it. Sprinkle the meat with the toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.
Copyright © 2015 by Amy and Craig Nickoloff and West Coast Prime Meats
Recipes reprinted with permission of the owners.
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The beef cheeks will improve in flavor if you make them a day in advance. That will also help with preparation, which is somewhat lengthy. Then you simply finish the sauce and the salad on the day you plan to serve the dish. The meat can be reheated in the sauce over low heat on the stove top. If you want to prepare the salad in advance, please just slice the ingredients and hold them, wrapped, in the refrigerator. The dressing can also be prepared a day in advance but please wait until you are ready to serve the beef cheeks to toss the salad in the dressing. The mangos for this salad should be ripe but still firm. The sweetness of the ripe mango plays nicely off the braised beef cheeks, but if the mango is too ripe, the slices will fall apart.