Ox cheek daube with star anise, hazelnut and orange

Ox cheek daube with star anise, hazelnut and orange

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg ox cheeks
2 carrots
1 celery stick
2 onions
1/2 orange
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
200ml red wine
400ml Brown chicken and veal stock
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 teaspoons butter, softened and mixed with 2 teaspoons flour (beurre manie), if needed
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the gremolata

Quantity Ingredient
25g hazelnuts
large bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 garlic clove
1/2 orange
1/2 lemon
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Soft polenta

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 150°C.
  2. Prepare the ox cheeks by trimming off any surface sinew and cutting the cheeks into small steaks, about 5–6 cm long and 3–4 cm thick. Peel the carrots, de-string the celery and cut both into thick slices. Halve, peel and cut the onions into wedges through the root. Finely pare the zest from the ½ orange.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a flameproof casserole over a medium to high heat. Season the ox cheeks with salt and brown them in batches, evenly all over, deglazing with water after each batch. If these juices (déglaçage) don’t taste bitter, reserve them for the sauce. Place the browned cheeks in a bowl.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the casserole, add the vegetables and brown evenly, then add the wine, stock, bay leaves, thyme, cinnamon, star anise, orange zest, and some salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then return the ox cheeks to the casserole, with the déglaçage, if using. Cover and cook in the oven for 3–4 hours until the ox cheeks are tender but not falling apart. Check from time to time to ensure the stew is not boiling too vigorously; it should be very gently simmering.
  5. Just before the meat is cooked, make the gremolata. Toast the nuts on a baking sheet in the oven for 15–20 minutes until pale golden, then coarsely chop and place in a bowl. Chop enough parsley leaves to give 4–5 tablespoons. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Finely grate the zest from the ½ orange and ½ lemon and add to the nuts with the parsley and garlic. Add the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  6. When the meat is tender, drain in a sieve over a bowl, discarding the vegetables, herbs and spices, and reserving the sauce. Return the sauce to the wiped-out casserole. Taste and reduce over a medium heat until it has a good concentration of flavour, thickening it with a little beurre manié, if necessary, to achieve a syrupy consistency. Taste again and adjust the seasoning.
  7. Return the ox cheeks to the reduced sauce and reheat gently. Serve with a little gremolata sprinkled over the top and the soft polenta.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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