Monday, February 9, 2009

(Insert your favorite offal joke here)

Ragù of Beef Cheeks with Whole Wheat Penne, and Bruchetta with Anchovy Butter

My good friend Josh and I had the pleasure of cooking together this weekend, which is always loads of fun. Josh, who also happens to be a chef, got a great deal on some beef cheeks, so we decided to put together a nice ragù.

Step One: Trim the cheeks. Render some pancetta in a Dutch Oven or other braising vessel, reserving the meat. Add some extra lard to the pan if available.

Step Two: Dredge the cheeks in well seasoned flour and sauté until browned. Remove the meat from the pan. Add a soffritto of celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and sliced crimini mushrooms. Be careful not to burn the garlic! Deglaze with a liberal amount of dry red wine (Italian would be a nice touch). Add a can of San Marzano Tomatos.

Step Three: Place the meat back in the pan, and add enough beef stock or demi-glace to mostly cover the meat. Season with black pepper and a bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. Cover and cook in a 325ºF oven for about three hours. Add some fresh thyme during the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Step Four: Remove the meat and roughly chop (remove the bay leaf). Reduce the braising liquid, if necessary, to sauce consistency. Add the meat back into the sauce. Season. Serve over pasta. Garnish with a quality Parmesan Cheese.

For the Bruchetta: In a mortar and pestle, mash one anchovy fillet and a pinch of salt into a paste. Add three ounces of cold fresh butter and the smallest bit of finely ground black pepper. Work into a spreadable mixture. Cover tightly and refrigerate for about an hour. Place on the counter to warm. Dry toast a few slices of bread under the broiler, and rub with a clove of garlic. Spread a thin layer of the butter on the bread. Garnish with a pinch of good sea salt and a few capers.

1 comment:

Jen said...

Beef cheeks. What WILL he eat next? Oh wait, I know...