MARCH RECIPE: Braised Ox Cheek

BY executive CHEF, MORGWN PRESTON-JONES

Whether you make the classic ragout or the party-favourite croquetas – the hearty rich flavours developed by Executive Chef Morgwn Preston Jones are your cure for the chilly winter weather! 

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INGREDIENTS:

Braised Ox Cheek Ragout
6kg Ox Cheeks – cut into chunks w/ sinew removed
4 Yellow Onions - finely diced
2 Carrots – finely diced
3 Ribs Celery – finely diced
1 Bulb Fennel – finely diced
4 Cloves Garlic – finely minced
40g Flour
½ Bottle Red Wine
10ml Brandy
4 Sprigs Thyme
60g Tomato Puree
100g Butter
20g Olive Oil
Sea Salt & Black pPepper to taste

Bechamel
200g flour
200g butter
400ml milk
Sea salt & black pepper to taste

Season the ox cheeks with salt and pepper and then dredge in the flour to cover on all sides.

METHOD:

Add olive oil to a hot pan and sear off the ox cheeks (in batches) until golden brown on all sides.

Leave the ox cheeks to the side and add all the vegetables into the pan along with the butter to deglaze. Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until the vegetables take on color. Next add in your tomato purée and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the brandy followed by the wine. Cook until the alcohol is burned off and then proceed to add the ox cheeks back into the pot. Cover the ox cheeks with water or stock and braise uncovered in the oven (160°C) for about 4 hours or until they fall apart tender.

We suggest serving the ragout over polenta or mashed potatoes. You can also use the chilled oxtail to make croquetas by incorporating a thick béchamel and rolling into balls before bread crumbing and frying.

To make the béchamel, add the butter to a pan on medium heat. Once it has melted whisk in the flour and cook for 3-4 minutes whisking constantly. Separately warm the milk, and once it is almost at a simmer whisk it into the butter/flour mix. Keep whisking until the mix has thickened considerably. Turn off the heat and add in about 300g of shredded ox cheek meat from the ragout. Chill completely.

Once chilled, form the mixture into balls and continue to breadcrumb. First roll the balls in flour, and then into egg, and lastly into breadcrumbs or panko.

To finish, fry the balls for about 3 minutes or until golden in 180°C oil (we use grapeseed). Enjoy immediately!