Braised Beef Cheek

Serves 2-4.

Time requirement:

What you will need:

2 beef cheeks, about ¾ of a pound each, trimmed.

1 teaspoon kosher salt.

2 tablespoons olive oil.

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 bouget garni of 6-8 thyme sprigs, a 4-inch sprig of rosemary, and 4-5 sage leaves.

1 cup beef stock.

1 cup blonde beer (golden ale).

12 ounces pearl onions

2 carrots peeled and cut into equal sizes about 2-inches long.

8 ounces button mushrooms (champignons de Paris).

2 tablespoons butter.

2 garlic cloves peeled.

An additional 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature.

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour.

1 tablespoon cognac.

Preparation:

Sprinkle the beef cheeks with 1 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes. (You could do this any time before and keep the cheeks in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them.)

When you are ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 275 degrees F.

Heat a 4-5-quart Dutch oven over a medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, dry the beef cheeks with some paper towels, add them to the pan to brown. Brown the beef cheeks on both sides. This will only take a 2-3 minutes per side if your pan is hot. Add 1 cup blond beer (golden ale) and 1 cup rich homemade beef stock. Bring to a simmer. Add ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper and the bouquet garni. Cover the pan and place in the oven for two hours.

In the meantime, peel the pearl onions or thaw them if you are using frozen. Also prepare the carrots. Set these aside.

Also prepare the mushrooms: clean them, quarter them sauté them with 2 whole garlic cloves in 2 tablespoons of butter for about 5 minutes to brown them. Set aside.

Combine 2 tablespoons of room temperature of butter with 2 tablespoons of flour. Mix these together in a small bowl to make a paste. Set aside. This is paste is called a beurre manié.

After two hours in the oven remove the pan from the oven. Whisk the beurre manié into the juices in the pan. Add the carrots, onions, pearl onions, and cognac. Cover the pan and return it to the oven for 1½ hours of cooking.

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