Winter's not quite done with us so here's a winter warmer recipe from Goverment House chef Simon Peacock.
1 small bunch fresh thyme
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
500ml/18fl oz full-flavoured Beer, Mac’s Sassy red, amber ale (experiment with a local craft brew)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 litres/3½ pints beef stock
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the beef cheeks into a large bowl then add the garlic, bay leaf and thyme sprigs and pour over the ale to cover. Leave in the fridge to marinate for at least 6 hours, or overnight.
Once marinated, preheat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2.
Lift the beef cheeks from the marinade and cut each of them in half. (Reserve the marinade.)
Heat the vegetable oil in an flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. Add the marinated beef cheeks and fry for a few minutes on each side until browned on both sides. Add the chopped vegetables and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Pour the reserved marinade into the casserole, add the beef stock and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer.
Cover the casserole with aluminium foil, then braise in the oven for 6 hours, or until the beef cheeks are very tender and the volume of liquid has reduced and thickened. Alternatively, cook the beef cheeks in the slow cooker (set to a low heat) for 12 hours or overnight.
When the beef cheeks are cooked, remove them from the sauce using a slotted spoon and set aside. Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce the heat until the sauce is simmering. Simmer the sauce until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Pass through a strainer to remove vegetables. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Just before serving, return the beef cheeks to the sauce and warm through.
Serve with mashed potatoes or gnocchi.