Nigel Slater's Ox Cheek and Mushroom Broth

A few weekends ago we took a trip down to my favourite Farmshop in Old Windsor. Their butcher's is of a very high standard and very reasonably priced. What I love most about it is the range of cuts available that one can't purchase at the supermarket, one such cut is ox cheek.


I've actually never cooked ox cheek but always one to experiment I happily handed over the money ready to research the internet for recipes. By chance last weekend Nigel Slater wrote a feature for the Saturday Guardian on using cheaper cuts of meat including Ox Cheek. I can vouch for it's deliciousness, the tenderness of the meat after the slow cooking made it all the more succulent. My only slight quibble is that it didn't have quite enough fresh ginger, as I am a big fan of discovering it's fiery heat in a dish. I should have tripled the quantity stated below plus some of my beloved garlic wouldn't have gone amiss. Other than that, it was a thoroughly warming, satisfying Wintry Friday night dish. Happy Weekend!


Serves 4
Ingredients
small shallots 200g
olive oil 2 tbsp
ox cheeks (with a seam of melting fat running through the cheeks) 2 (will feed 4) 
galangal or fresh ginger 50g
beef stock 1 litre
enoki mushrooms 100g I also added some chestnut mushrooms I had lurking around which worked well.
Set the oven at 160C/gas mark 3. Peel the shallots. If the skins are stubborn, then pour a kettle of boiling water over them and leave for 15 minutes before peeling.
Warm the oil in a deep pan, add the shallots and let them brown lightly, then push to one side and add the ox cheeks, letting them colour on both sides.
Cut the peeled galangal or ginger into fine, matchstick shreds and add to the pan, cook briefly, then pour in the stock. Season, cover with a lid and bake for 2½ hours. Remove from the oven, cut each cheek into thick slices and place in warm, shallow bowls. Add the enoki mushrooms to the broth, simmer for a minute or two, then ladle over the cheeks.