Italian Beef Cheek Stew is a hearty, delicious and traditional dish. The tenderness of the beef cheeks compliments the red wine sauce quite well as the dish comes together.
Two days ago, to my surprise, I saw some fantastic beef cheeks exposed on the counter of my butcher. After two years of living in Columbus and not finding them, I had almost given up on them completely! I didn’t waste any time and I bought them right away. I was anxious to cook one of the most delicious Italian recipes that I know!
After picking up the rest of the ingredients I needed, I came home with everything I needed to prepare a fantastic stew braised in red wine. I let the meat and aromatics marinate in the wine overnight. The result was delicious! The braised beef cheeks are tender and tasty. If you’ve never tasted them, you’ve been missing out. The flavor is the same as a good piece of lean beef, but it is even more tender, because of their marbling. You will not be disappointed!
- Author: Filippo Trapella
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Secondi
- 1.5 lb 700 gr beef chicks
- 1 medium white onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bottle (750 ml good quality red wine)
- 1 tbsp double concentrated tomato paste
- 3 springs of rosemary
- 1 clove
- 1 tbsp mixed ground peppercorn
- 1 tsp juniper berries
- To taste table salt
- Wash and dry the beef cheeks. If the butcher has not already done so, discard the subcutaneous tougher fat.
- Save the softer fat, will give more flavor at the meat during cooking, making it even more tender.
- Now, massage the beef cheeks with a generous grinding of mixed peppercorn and let it rest a few minutes while preparing the other ingredients of the marinade.
- While the meat rests, cut coarsely 1 medium onion, 1 carrot, and 1 clove of garlic.
- Pour the vegetables in a large bowl, along with the meat, the crushed juniper berries, the clove, and the springs of rosemary.
- Pour the wine until it will cover all the meat, mix, cover with a sheet plastic wrap and let’s marinate between 8 and 24 hours in the lower part of the refrigerator.
Beef cheeks stew
- Separate the wine (do not discard it!) of the marinade from the other ingredients.
- Pour the wine into a pot and heat it until it starts to simmer. Meanwhile, pour the other ingredients in a dutch oven with the olive oil and cook over low heat until the vegetables are soft and translucent.
- Add the double concentrate tomato paste.
- Now add the beef cheeks along with the vegetables and cook stirring until all the meat is sealed in all its parts.
- At this point, add the wine, raise the heat and bring to simmering.
- As soon as the wine starts to simmer, cover with the lid, transfer the pot on the smallest heater operated at idling and cook about 3 h and 30 mins, until the meat is tender and well cooked.
Red wine sauce and finishing
- When the beef cheeks are extremely tender and well cooked, drain them from cooking liquid and let’s put aside in a covered pot.
- Mix the vegetables along with the wine, sift everything with a sieve and cook again the sauce over high heat until to obtain a creamy gravy.
- When the sauce is reduced, lower the heat to low, add the meat and salt to taste. Cook 10 minutes more covered and finally serve hot.
Born and raised in Bologna, Italy (hometown of lasagna and tortellini!), I grew up under the table of my grandmother helping her making fresh pasta for our Sunday feasts with the family. My passion for food stems from my curiosity, which has led me to travel around almost all continents (I still miss Oceania, but I hope to fill that gap soon!). During my trips I discovered the power of food. In my blog philosokitchen.com I write my recipes and my experiences around the world.