I like to cook to the seasons, but who knows what Mother nature is doing with the weather lately. It was scorchy hot summer at the start of the week and yesterday felt like winter. We are in Autumn, yes? Apparently....
Anyhoo - lets get the slow cooker out, I'm cooking Beef Cheeks. Yes, you read that right. You can find them at Woolworth's near the pet food section, but don't let that put you off. I think it is respectful to make use of the whole animal, rather than just eat the good bits and throw the rest away. And they are yummy. And they are very inexpensive. And they are trendy. 4 points! Booyah!
Assemble your ingredients - celery, onion, carrots, red wine, olive oil, crushed tomatoes & herbs. I love this wine, it is super cheap at less that $3 per bottle and is great for quaffing at the park. The herbs I use are garlic, as well as fresh thyme, rosemary and bay leaves from my garden.
The star of the show - beef cheeks. I was lucky to get them on sale for $1.50 each, that's a saving of 50%! Told you they where cheap..use at least 1 cheek per person. Everyone will want seconds and you won't be unhappy to have leftovers anyway. It freezes pretty well.
Chop the carrots, onions and celery and saute in a little olive oil until the onion is cooked and lightly caramelised, then put them into the slow cooker with the herbs. I think the best way to get flavour out of your slow cooker is to use your fry pan, it's the caramelisation that gives richness of taste.
Sprinkle the cheeks with flour then flash fry to brown the outside, we are only going for flavour. Add them to the slow cooker with the crushed garlic, a tin of crushed tomatoes and about a cup of wine. Use the wine to deglaze the pan first, so you don't lose any of that awesome flavour. Now put the lid on your slow cooker, turn it to slow, and get on with your life for 6 hours.
Sometime the sauce might seem thin, just sprinkle in a spoon of flour and stir to combine, before serving with mashed potatoes and green veggies of your own choice. The meat should be so soft that you can cut it with a spoon.