Cheek to cheek!
ingredients for 4 servings (cost about 5 € pp)
- 1 kg beef cheeks
- EV olive oil
- 16 chestnuts
- 8 dried apricots
- 8 dried plums
- 20 g dried black trumpets
- 30 g butter
- Fresh thyme
- Pink pepper
– Heaven, I’m in heaven, and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak …………
– What are you saying ????
– I am singing cos today´s dish is extraordinary, fantastic, one of my best meaty ones. So I sing the famous classic track …….. When we are out together, eating cheek to cheek.
People are strange, as the Doors sang. They pay hundreds of Euros to buy Japanese beefs, while they snub marvelous and very cheap meat pieces, as the animals cheeks.
– You are wrong. Beef steaks can be prepared easily in a few minutes, meanwhile cheeks need a lot of time and a lot of preparation !!!
– So what? Fucking in brothels is also easier than pursuing a woman and having a decent girlfriend. Do you also prefer it? Νo pain, no gain, as the Ancient Greeks considered (τα αγαθά κόποις κτώνται). Well, you can do as you wish, I am gonna prepare beef cheeks.
Cheeks can be cooked perfectly with a precision cooker, which also makes their preparation much easier. So, if we have a precision cooker we first clean the cheeks, eliminating all the hard parts from their surface, we cut them in pieces, we lightly grease them, adding also some salt, as well as the fresh herb of our choice and we seal them in a bag with a sous vide machine. We then cook them for 48 hours at 65 Celsius degrees.
If we don´t have a precision cooker, we must pre-salt the cheeks from the day before to tenderize them, and the next day we must wash and pat dry them. We then brown them in a very hot pan, more than usual. We preheat the oven at 180 degrees, we put them in a pan covered with aluminium foil, and we roast them till very very tender (more than 3,5 hours).
When the cheeks are done, we remove the foil, we raise the oven temperature and we roast them for another 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, we prepare the rest of the ingredients. We boil and peel the chestnuts and we soak the dried fruits and the mushrooms.
We mix the cheeks’ juices from the sous vide bag or the pan, we add the butter and the soaking water from the mushrooms and we bring to a boil. We add some salt and the side ingredients (mushrooms, chestnuts and dried fruits) and we simmer, till having a relatively dense sauce. We can add some red wine or vermouth, if we want.
We put the vegetal parts in plates and above them the meat, we add some more sauce, pink pepper and fresh thyme and we serve.