Beef cheeks with creamy goat cheese polenta and charred broccolini
This rich and warming winter dish is great for dinner parties as the meat can be made in advance. Beef cheek becomes incredibly tender and flavoursome when slowed cooked. This recipe is guaranteed to be a hit with your guests.
6 shallots – peel and diced
4 cloves garlic – finely diced
1 medium carrot – peeled and diced
1 stalk celery – peeled and finely diced
3 cups beef stock
1 cup red wine
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves.
800 grams beef cheeks (approx. 2 pieces)
Olive oil for sautéing
4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup instant polenta
50 gram butter
½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
50 grams goat cheese
400 grams broccolini
Olive oil for sautéing
Preheat oven to 140 degrees Celsius.
Heat a generous glug of olive oil over a medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic, carrot and celery. Cook gently for 5-7 minutes until the shallots are translucent. Add to your casserole dish (one with a lid is ideal).
Meanwhile, heat the stock, wine and orange zest until boiling. Remove from the heat and add the thyme leaves.
Season the pieces of meat well. Increase the temperature of the pan to medium high. Add more oil if necessary and brown on the meat on all sides.
Add the meat and the stock to your casserole dish. If you do not have a tight fitting lid, use tinfoil to over well.
Cook for 4-4.5 hours until meltingly tender.
Remove the pieces of meat gently. If your casserole dish can be used over direct heat, place the liquid over a high heat and simmer until the liquid has thickened (roughly 10 minutes). You can also pour the liquid into a large saucepan and reduce this way. Strain the sauce if you’d prefer to have no small vegetable pieces in it. Taste the thickened liquid and season to taste.
Combine meat and the liquid again.
Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the polenta slowly, whisking constantly until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Reduce the heat and cook for 3 minutes. Add the butter, parmesan and goat cheese. Stir well and season to taste.
Trim any leaves on the stem. Steam for a minute or two until slightly softened. Drain well on a tea towel. Heat a generous glug of olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the broccolini and cook for a couple of minutes until each stem is browned on a few points. Season well with sea salt and serve immediately.
Honey baked cheese with walnuts & rosemary
Serves 6 as a starter
This simple and warming starter is both indulgent and wonderfully easy to make.
1 small wheel camembert or brie
1/3 cup raw walnuts – roughly chopped
1 tablespoon dark honey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary leaves
To serve: oatcakes or crusty bread
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the cheese in a small oven-proof baking dish lined with foil or a small oven-proof tapas dish (you don’t need the foil if you cook the cheese in the dish you’ll be serving it in).
Mix the walnuts, honey, olive oil and rosemary together in a small bowl.
Spoon on top of the cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes until gooey but not entirely melted.
Serve immediately with oatcakes.
Individual citrus tarts with vanilla mascarpone
3-4 sheets good quality sweet short pastry
4 free-range eggs
250ml fresh cream
3/4 cup caster sugar
½ cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 3 lemons needed for this)
250 grams mascarpone
1 teaspoon vanilla paste
2 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Grease 4 individual tart tins or dishes. Cut circles of pastry that are 3 cm wider than the dishes that you are using. Gently press the pastry into the dish. Trim the top edge using a knife. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Line the inside of the pastry shell with tinfoil that has been well greased (lay the greased side against the pastry). Fill the foil 2/3 full with dried beans, rice or ceramic baking beans. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the edges are golden and the foil will pull away from the pastry without tearing it. Remove the foil and let the pastry cook for another 5 minutes until lightly golden. Cool completely. You can put the dish into the freezer to speed this up.
Whisk together the eggs, cream, caster sugar and lemon juice. Pour this mixture through a sieve to get rid of excess bubbles and any stringy pieces of egg.
Pour into the tart cases (Using a jug for this can be easiest). Bake for 12-15 until set around the edges but while the centre 1/3 is still jiggly. Allow to cool completely on the bench before placing in the fridge. It’s important not to cool the filling too fast as this can encourage the filling to crack.
Mix the mascarpone, vanilla and maple syrup. Place a dollop on each tart just before serving.