Ox cheek casserole
matched with Chateau Civrac 2006
4 ox cheeks
3 litres red wine
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 tsp black peppercorns
sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
sprig fresh rosemary
dash olive oil
2 litres veal or beef stock
2 litres chicken stock
HERES HOW TO DO IT:
Place the ox cheeks, port, red wine, chopped vegetables, peppercorns and herbs into a large non-metal bowl. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge overnight.
Remove the ox cheeks from the marinade and pat dry on kitchen paper. Pour the marinade through a fine colander into a bowl to strain the chopped vegetables. Keep the vegetables and the marinade liquor.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, add the marinated ox cheeks and caramelise until a lovely golden-brown all over. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped vegetables to the pan and gently fry for 3-4 minutes. Add the marinade liquor and boil over a high heat until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.
Add back the cheeks, add in the stocks, braise gently with the liquor for around two and a half hours in the pan with tight fitted lid, or around half that time if using a pressure cooker. Keep checking as it’s a fine line with this delicious meat; it should be tender enough to be cut with a spoon! Once the meat is perfect, the liquor should have thickened to a velvety gravy-like texture.
This can be served with lovely winter greens and luxurious creamy mash as a warming supper; it’s also wonderful with new potatoes.
The Chateau Civrac 2006 is built for this wholesome hearty food. The richness of the dish balances with the supple tannins of the wine. The little hint of Malbec in there brings a gentle spice, complementing the ox cheek beautifully.
After eight years of living in the city and working 18-hour days, a pivotal moment in my career occurred in 2006 upon meeting Derek Mapp, with whose backing two friends and I opened Number 6 in Padstow. Looking back on the early days in Padstow I felt we had so much to give and I think we tried to showcase that, so the menu was quite ambitious.
When I took sole occupancy in 2009, Derek played an influential role outside the kitchen as my business partner, friend and mentor. Meanwhile, we reworked the menu around the ethos it holds today: quality ingredients, often humble in nature, used to create meals with smooth clean flavours that offer great value for money.
We’re really lucky to have some of the best produce available to us on our doorstep. Moving to Cornwall proved to me that the only way to cook is with local, seasonal produce, which is reflected in every menu I produce.
About Chateau Civrac 2006:
Our Grand Vin is our signature blend. Made from our 4 grape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Franc. Complex nose comprising of plumby Merlot, Juicy Cabernet and spicey Malbec. smokey notes and mocca mid pallet. Long oak finish. 13%.