|Beef cheek stew.|
The day was remarkable. The skies were clear, the air was warm. In San Francisco in late May, this is hardly a guarantee.
Revelers were out, adorned like peacocks. The bus was unbearably slow...I decided to walk around among the celebrators.
I had a mission, however: I needed some things from the hardware store before Memorial Day to clean up the apartment, but I also wanted to get out to San Francisco's Dogpatch neighborhood and grab some odds and ends at Olivier's Butchery.
I had been having bit of a rough month, life was just kind of bumming me out...Amidst the revelry, sunlight, celebration and joy in my fair (adopted) city, I was feeling disconnected.
I sought comfort.
|Beef cheek: $8.29/lb at Olivier's Butchery|
Normally, these are the cheapest cuts of meat beside organ meat: chuck, rump roast, pork shoulder, tongue, leg of lamb, trotters, fatback, cheeks.
But something has transformed the American palette over the last few decades, and as a result formerly humble cuts of meat such as the sweetbread, trotter, pork belly, hanger steak and the beef (or pig) cheek have seen a steady rise in price.
In San Francisco, you can pay as much as $11/lb ("grass fed", "organic"). I picked some up for $3.99/lb at the West Side Market in Cleveland.
The fridge was full of left-overs from Memorial Day: beer, coleslaw, random sauces, more beer, salsa.
As for whole, fresh vegetables, pickings were slim.
Braised Beef Cheek Stew:
- 2 cups of roughly chopped red cabbage
- 1 medium shallot, large dice
- 1 cup of "baby" carrots, halved
- 4 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1/3-1/2 bottle of drinkable red wine
- 1/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp dark molasses
- 2 dashes of Worchestershire sauce
- water to cover
- Salt and pepper
- Duck fat or bacon grease (about 3 tbsp)
Heat a medium saucier (we're using the All-Clad 3-qt Stainless Steel Saucier) over high heat and let the pan get nice and hot.
Pat any moisture off your beef cheeks and season with a little salt. Sear with about a tablespoon of duck fat for 5 minutes on each side.
Remove meat from the pan and reserve in a mixing bowl.
Toss the shallots, carrots and cabbage around for about 3 minutes. De-glaze with a splash of wine and reserve along with the cheek.
Lower heat to medium and rust the tomato paste with the remaining duck fat until the tomato paste darkens, about 5-8 minutes.
Stop browning by adding the remaining wine.
Add the reserved and remaining ingredients, stir and cover meat with vegetables and extra water and bring to a boil.
Cover and place on a sheet pan then into the oven. Braise for 4-5 hours at 250ºF.
Stew is ready to serve when cheek can be fork shredded.
I served mine with noodles tossed in butter and grated hard cheese with fresh shredded cabbage.
|Like the Millennium Falcon, she doesn't look like much but boy can she fly!|
Spending this week traveling, seeing family and hanging out where I grew up. Sorry for the trickle of content. Sometimes life gets in the way of the blog!
This song, some stew and a nice beer makes it all better.
Neko Case feels my pain:
Neko Case feels my pain: