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    Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Red Wine with Creamy Mashed Potatoes

    These slow cooked beef cheeks are braised in a beautiful red wine sauce. They are so meltingly tender, you can eat it with a spoon. The braising liquid is infused with incredible flavour and when pureed, transforms into a thick, luscious gravy-like sauce.

    Beef Cheeks are a budget cut of meat that are made for slow cooking. Perfectly accompanied with creamy mashed potatoes, this is a very easy dish that is suited to an elegant dinner party or a hearty midweek meal. Make this in your slow cooker or on the stove.

    My Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks recipe is made with a classic Italian red wine braising liquid. The deep, warm, complex flavours of red wine are perfect for using as the stock base for slow cooked beef dishes. Go to your local liquor outlet and look for end of bin specials and pick up a bottle of a full bodied red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon. You won’t use the whole bottle. If the wine is not to your standard for drinking, measure out cups and pour them into ziplock bags and freeze them. Handy to have when you need wine for other recipes.

    Don’t let the length of the recipe directions fool you, this really is a simple recipe. It’s just long because I’ve provided directions for 3 different cooking methods and the mashed potatoes.

    This Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks is a recipe that is elegant enough for a dinner party and if made using a slow cooker, easy enough for mid week. The other great thing about these Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks is that the leftovers can be used to make fast midweek meals and over the next couple of days I’ll be sharing two recipes – a Beef Ragu Pasta (a 15 minute meal) and a Beef, Mushroom and Vegetable Pie (15 minutes of prep). Don’t you love Cook-Once-Eat-Thrice recipes?? Use this weekend to make a triple batch of beef cheeks!

    Prep Time

        •    Prep time: 15 minutes
        •    Cook time: 10 hours
        •    Yield: Serves 6

    Ingredients

    For Beef Cheeks:

        •   3 tbsp olive oil , separated
        •   1.5 kg/3lb beef cheeks , (4 large or 6 small beef cheeks)
        •   1 onion (white, brown or yellow), roughly diced (about 1 cup)
        •   1 celery stalk , roughly diced (about 1 cup)
        •   1 carrot , roughly diced (about 3/4 cup)
        •   4 garlic cloves , minced
        •   6 stems of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
        •   4 dried bay leaves (or 3 fresh bay leaves)
        •   1 cup / 250 ml beef stock
        •   2 cups / 500 ml red wine (full bodied eg. cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
        •   2 - 3 tsp salt , separated
        •   Black pepper

    For Creamy Mashed Potato:

        •   800 g/1.6lb starchy potatoes (see notes), diced into 2cm / 3/4" cubes
        •   2 tbsp butter
        •   1 cup milk
        •   Salt and pepper

    Method

    1. Prepare the beef cheeks: cut off any large, fatty membrane. Pat dry then use 1 tsp of salt and black pepper to season the beef all over.
    2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based pan (or casserole dish with a lid if you are baking or pot if you are cooking on the stove) over high heat. Sear the beef cheeks on each side until nicely browned. If your pan is not large enough, work in batches rather than crowding the pan. Remove beef cheeks onto a plate, loosely cover with foil to keep warm.
    3. Turn down the heat to medium high and heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic, onion and carrots. Sauté for 3 minutes until onion is becoming translucent, then add the celery and sauté for a further 3 minutes.
    4. Follow directions for your chosen cooking method.

    Different Cookers Methods

    Slow Cooker Method:

    1. Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker and place the beef cheeks on top.
    2. Pour the wine into the fry pan and return to heat. Turn the heat up to high, bring to simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute (to cook out the wine a bit). Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so it mixes in with the wine.
    3. Pour the wine into the slow cooker, then all the remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).
    4. Cook in the slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or High for 6 hours for 250g/8oz size beef cheeks or Low for 10 - 12 hours or High for 8 hours for 350g/12oz beef cheeks.
    5. Open the slow cooker and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
    6. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce - it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour. If using a slow cooker without a sauté setting, pour the Sauce into a saucepan. If you have a sauté setting, leave it in the slow cooker.
    7. Put the saucepan over medium heat (or set the slow cooker to sauté setting) and bring to simmer.
    8. Simmer until the Sauce turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency - about 10 minutes.
    9. Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
    10. Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

    Pressure Cooker Method: Follow the Slow Cooker directions but cook on high in your pressure cooker for 1 hour on high for small cheeks (around 250g/8oz each).

    Stovetop and Oven Method:

    1. Pour the wine into the pot / casserole dish (with the onion mixture) and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to simmer for 1 minute.
    2. Add remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).
    3. Put lid on and cook on the stove on medium low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or in the oven at 160C/320F for 3 to 3 1/2 hours until the cheeks are very tender. Turn at least once during cooking.
    4. Open the pot/casserole dish and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
    5. Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce - it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour.
    6. Bring the Sauce to simmer over medium heat and simmer until it turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency - about 3 to 5 minutes.
    7. Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
    8. Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

    Creamy Mashed Potatoes:

    1. Place potatoes in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for 10 minutes until very soft.
    2. Turn the stove off, drain potatoes, then return to the pot.
    3. Add butter and milk and use a potato masher to mash until smooth.
    4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Use more milk to adjust the consistency to your liking. I like it fairly loose because it seems creamier (and less potato goes further).

    To Serve: Serve beef cheeks on Creamy Mashed Potatoes, drizzled with a generous amount of Sauce. Garnish with finely chopped parsley if desired.

    NOTES:

    1. Beef Cheeks aren’t always available in large supermarkets so you might have to go to the butcher. At my butcher, it’s a bit cheaper than other slow cooking cuts like chuck steak and brisket. If you can’t find Beef Cheeks, other slow cooking beef cuts will work fine. Cut them into 250g/8oz chunks so the same cooking times and liquid quantities in this recipe will apply.
    2. The beef cheeks I got were unusually large, around 350g/12oz each. Great man size portions. Usually beef cheeks are around 250g/8oz each and I get 6.
    3. If you can't find beef cheeks, substitute with any other cut of beef suitable for slow cooking. Cut them into 250g/8oz pieces.
    4. You need to use starchy potatoes for mashed potato as they breakdown when cooked, making them perfect for mashing. The best to use are Russet (common in the US), Yukon Gold, dutch creams, King Edwards or red delight. However, great all rounders like golden delight, coliban, red rascal and Sebago (popular in Australia) still works great.
    5. Leftover beef cheeks and sauce can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
    6. Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks nutrition per serving, excluding mashed potato.



    This great family recipe is thanks to RecipeTin Eats at https://www.recipetineats.com/slow-cooker-red-wine-beef-cheeks/

        Easy Barramundi with Lemon

        A quick and easy way of cooking barramundi, or any other white fish.

        Prep Time

            •    Prep time: 5 minutes
            •    Cook time: 25 minutes
            •    Yield: Serves 4

        Ingredients

            •   4 barramundi fillets
            •   1 tbs olive oil
            •   1 lemon thinly sliced large
            •   1 tsp seasoning *to taste

        Ingredients

            •   8 foil

        Method

        1. Preheat oven to 200C.
        2. Lay out 4 sheets of aluminium foil and brush each lightly with olive oil.
        3. Place a fillet of fish on each foil sheet and sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
        4. Lay 3-4 slices of lemon over each fillet.
        5. Wrap securely, making sure that each parcel is completely sealed, then wrap each in a second layer of foil.
        6. Place on a tray and bake for 25 minutes, turning midway through.
        7. Serve with chips, green salad and extra lemon.

        NOTE: Any white fish fillet could be used in place of the barramundi, but cooking time may have to be adjusted depending on size.



        This great family recipe is thanks to Best Recipes at https://www.bestrecipes.com.au/recipe/easy-barramundi-with-lemon-L10276.html

        Smoked Barramundi with Spring Vegetable Salad

        There is no better sign that spring has arrived than a meal brimming with colorful vegetables.

        Prep Time

            •    Prep time: 9 hours
            •    Cook time: 2-3 hours
            •    Yield: Serves 4

        Ingredients

        For Fish:

            •   1 1/2 pounds Barramundi fillets, skin on or off
            •  
        3/4 cups Brown sugar
            •  
        1/2 cup Kosher salt
            •  
        1 tbsp Onion powder
            •  
        1 tbsp Garlic powder
            •   3 Dried bay leaves, crushed
            •  
        2 quarts Water
            •   Apple, cherry or peach wood chips for smoking

        For Salad:

            •   1 Shallot, minced
            •  
        1 Lemon, juiced
            •  
        1/4 cup Extra virgin olive oil
            •   Salt and pepper to taste
            •  
        1 Medium carrot, scrubbed clean
            •  
        6 Large asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed
            •  
        1 Small beet, peeled
            •  
        2 Medium radishes
            •   1 cup Sugar snap peas, halved lengthwise
            •  
        2 cups Arugula
            •  
        1 Bunch chives, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
            •  
        1 cup Loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, stems removed

        Method

        1. Place the Barramundi fillets in a large, deep casserole dish or container. Whisk together the brown sugar, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, bay leaves and water until the sugar and salt have fully dissolved. Pour the mixture over the fish, cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.
        2. Remove the fillets from the brine and rinse under cold water, then pat very dry. Place the fillets on a rack and refrigerate, uncovered, for about 3-4 hours until the flesh feels tacky.
        3. Prepare a smoker with the wood chips and lightly oil the racks. Place the fillets on the racks and smoke at about 200° F until the flesh reaches an internal temperature of 145° F (about two hours, give or take). Remove from the smoker and cool to room temperature.
        4. In a large salad bowl, whisk together the shallot, lemon juice and olive oil with salt and pepper. Use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrot and asparagus spears into long, thin strips. Use a mandolin slicer to shave the beet and radishes into paper thin rounds. Add the shaved vegetables to the bowl along with the sugar snap peas, arugula, chives and parsley. Toss everything to coat in the dressing, then arrange on a platter.
        5. Pull pieces of the smoked fish away from the skin and arrange on top of the salad. Serve immediately.

        NOTE: Use the freshest, most colorful spring vegetables that you can find. Look for different colored carrots, watermelon radishes, golden and chioggia beets.



        This great family recipe is thanks to The Better Fish at https://www.thebetterfish.com/recipe/smoked-barramundi-spring-vegetable-salad/

        Korean BBQ Huon Salmon

        Korean BBQ is one of the hottest new flavours and the pairing with salmon is an absolute no brainer. This is a great one to serve to a large group of guests or for the family. This will also store in the fridge to be enjoyed over a few days if preparing for a smaller number of people. The Wumu noodle cake is a great savoury addition to the dish or serve with your favourite salad or vegetable mix!

        Prep Time

            •    Prep time: 15 minutes
            •    Cook time: 60 minutes
            •    Yield: Serves 6

        Ingredients

            •   1 Whole Huon Salmon or 2 sides
            •   2 tbsp Korean chili flakes
            •   1/2 Cup Soy sauce
            •   2 tbsp Korean chili flakes
            •   1/2 Cup Fresh ginger
            •   6 Apples, cored
            •   1/2 Cup Caster sugar
            •   3/4 Cup Golden syrup
            •   1/2 Cup Mirin
            •   4 Cloves garlic
            •   2 Cup Wumu noodles
            •   1/2 Bunch spring onion, sliced
            •   1/2 tbsp Poppy seeds
            •   2 Oranges, zest only
            •   Pinch Sea Salt
            •   1 tsp Dashi Powder
            •   2 Large Zucchini
            •   3/4 Cup White Balsamic vinegar
            •   1 1/2 Cup Water
            •   1/4 Cup Fresh tumeric or 1 tsp of ground tumeric
            •   2 Cloves garlic
            •   1 tbsp Yellow mustard seeds
            •   1 small red onion, diced
            •   1 Bok choy

        Method

        1. Pre heat oven to 170 degrees C
        2. Roughly chop apples and combine with Korean chilli flakes and paste, soy sauce, fresh ginger, caster sugar, golden syrup, mirin and garlic. Process until smooth.
        3. If using whole salmon, cut across the back of the salmon in 5cm increments. Only as far as the backbone and liberally cover the salmon with ¾ of the Korean BBQ sauce (reserve to serve) repeat for salmon sides.
        4. Place onto a greaseproof paper lined baking tray and bake for 40 minutes for whole fish or 20 minutes for sides N/B the cooking time may vary depending on the size of the fish, efficiency of your oven etc
        5. For the pickled zuchini - Combine the white balsamic vinegar, turmeric, water, garlic, mustard seeds and diced red onion in a large pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Let cool.
        6. Meanwhile wash and peel the zucchini using a speed peeler or vegetable cutter to create large thick ribbons and Strain the pickling liquid over the zucchini. Cover and cool.
        7. Wumu Noodle Cake - Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add Wumu noodles and cook for 5-6 minutes or until al dente and then strain under cool water.
        8. Add orange zest, sliced spring onions, poppy seeds and dashi powder. Mix together and place into deep tray.
        9. Cover with grease proof paper and press down with another tray and refrigerate for approx. 2 hrs. when cold and set, turn out onto a chopping board and cut into desired shape.
        10. Place the noodle cake into a large fry pan with a little ghee and fry on high for 10 minutes turning as you go. Then plate alongside your Korean Bbq glazed salmon. Enjoy



        This great family recipe is thanks to Huon Aqua at https://www.huonaqua.com.au/recipes/korean-bbq-salmon/

        Pork Medallions with Red Wine-Cherry Sauce

        Simple to make and perfectly balanced between savory and sweet, this fast pan sauce uses a secret ingredient: cherry preserves. Aside from its concentrated fruit flavor, the preserves lend body and thickness to the sauce. Red wine is not the dominant flavor here, but if you’d like to avoid it, use chicken stock and add a splash of cider or red wine vinegar. Medallions of lean, tender pork tenderloin cook fast in a hot pan. The pork slices should be rosy pink in the center after cooking (they will finish to the perfect doneness as they rest).

        Prep Time

            •    Prep time: 15 minutes
            •    Cook time: 15 minutes
            •    Yield: Serves 4

        Ingredients

            •   1 tbsp olive oil
            •   1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut into 12 slices
            •   1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme, divided
            •   1/2 cup dry red wine
            •   3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
            •   1/2 teaspoon black pepper
            •   1 cup unsalted chicken stock
            •   1/3 cup cherry preserves

        Method

        1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add pork slices; cook 2 minutes on each side. Remove pork from pan; keep warm.
        2. Increase heat to high. Add 2 teaspoons thyme to drippings in pan; cook 30 seconds. Add wine, salt, and pepper; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add stock and preserves; cook 8 minutes or until reduced to about 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. Spoon cherry mixture evenly over pork; sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.



        This great family recipe is thanks to CookingLight at http://www.cookinglight.com/recipes/pork-medallions-red-wine-cherry-sauce