Beer-braised beef cheek, pearl barley risotto, malted onions & ale sauce

It’s Monday again (Bizarre Foods night!) so we tried beef cheeks. Tasty!

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Ingredients

For the braised cheek

  • 3 beef cheeks, sinew removed
  • 500ml dark ale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750ml beef stock

For the malted onions

  • 500ml dark ale
  • 3 small white onions, unpeeled
  • olive oil
  • 25g butter

For the pearl barley risotto

  • 1¼l chicken stock
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 300ml double cream
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • few drops lemon juice
  1. cooked, remove the cheeks, herbs and garlic and set aside, then reduce the stock rapidly until it is syrupy. Return the cheeks to the pan and glaze with the sticky reduction, then keep warm until needed.
  2. Roughly 40 mins before you’re ready to serve, make the risotto. Put the chicken stock in a large pan and bring it to the boil. Add the barley, then cook for 15 mins. Remove from the heat, strain, then tip the barley into a medium-sized pan.
  3. Place the garlic in a small pan with the double cream and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 mins, then transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside about 50ml of the garlic cream and pour the remainder over the barley. Keep warm over a low heat.
  4. Meanwhile, separate the layers of malted onions and finish by frying in a hot pan, with a little oil and butter, until golden.
  5. Just before serving, add the Parmesan and lemon juice to the barley risotto and salt, to taste. Spoon on to the centre of each plate, then slice the cheeks and arrange on top of the risotto. Place 3 malted onion wedges around the side and drizzle over the reduced ale stock.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2014

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Beer-braised beef cheek, pearl barley risotto, malted onions & ale sauce

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