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Braised Beef Cheeks with Potato Purée, Sweet Onions and Field Peas


Braising Liquid

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

4 sprigs rosemary

2 cups red wine

3 quarts beef stock

Beef Cheeks

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2½ pounds beef cheeks, broken into 3-ounce pieces

Salt and pepper to taste

1 Vidalia onion, julienned

Butter, as needed

1 cup black-eyed peas

2 cups baby spinach

Potato purée (recipe follows)

Potato Purée

1½ cups heavy cream

2 sprigs rosemary

3 Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped

3 tablespoons butter

Salt and pepper to taste


Beef Cheeks
  1. For braising liquid, heat oil in a small stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and rosemary and caramelize, 5–10 minutes. Deglaze with wine and cook another 5 minutes. Add beef stock and simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until reduced by one quarter. Set aside.
  2. For beef cheeks, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Season beef cheeks generously with salt and pepper and brown, a few at a time.
  3. Remove cheeks and place in a small braising dish. Cover cheeks by half with braising liquid and cover pan with foil. Braise in oven for 1½–2 hours, until very tender. Remove cheeks from liquid and keep warm.
  4. Skim fat from surface of remaining liquid and keep liquid warm. In a large sauté pan, cook onion in a little butter until softened and translucent. Add beef cheeks, black-eyed peas, and remaining cooking liquid to pan and simmer, about 2 minutes. At the very end, fold in baby spinach just to wilt. Serve immediately over potato purée.
Potato Purée
  1. In a small pan, simmer cream with rosemary for about 5 minutes. Remove rosemary and keep cream warm.
  2. Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water and a pinch of salt. Boil until knife tender, strain, and push through a ricer into a large bowl. Immediately add butter and hot cream and mix until smooth and creamy. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and keep hot.
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