As the nights start drawing in and summer feels like a lifetime ago ox cheek becomes one of my favourite comfort meals this time of year.
The more a muscle works the more flavour ends up in the meat, with four stomachs to fill, cows never stop eating and therefore chewing with those cheeks. Whilst it may be one of the toughest it is certainly one of the tastiest cuts of meat!
It must be cooked slowly and for a long time, we cook ours for at least 12 hours, leave it in the oven on a low heat before you go to bed and it is ready for lunch time. It will just melt in your mouth with an explosion of flavours. I love to cook it in Guinness (but any strong flavoured alcohol will do), add some vegetables, veal stock and herbs throw in a handful of blackberries for sharpness and freshness. It is such a simple dish sure to wow the whole dinning table.
In the restaurant we serve it with smoked mashed potato, honey roasted parsnips and pickled shallots but it works with any potatoes and is great with polenta too!
Serve it with a glass of big bold red. Something from the Medoc (or any high tannin, oak aged Cab Sauv for that matter) would be ideal. The tannins will be broken down by the meat which will enhance the dark berry fruit and oaky characteristics of the wine.