Warming beef cheeks recipe with red chilli and coconut curry. These easy to cook braised beef cheeks are in a rich and creamy curry sauce with Thai aromatics.
I recently attended a Red Rock Deli Secret Supper pop up in Sydney. Adam Liaw was the chef for this particular pop up and he was kind enough to share his beef cheeks recipe with me. Which I was thrilled about as I can now share it with you.
Beef cheeks have become quite popular over the past few years. It seems as soon as the weather starts getting cold beef cheek and oxtail recipes pop up on restaurant menus. But what are beef cheeks exactly?
What are Beef Cheeks?
Not many people realize that beef cheeks are offal. They fall into the same category as kidney, tripe, liver, etc. They are as described, the facial muscles from a bovine. The muscles used to chew. This means it is a hardworking and tough muscle.
How to Cook Beef Cheeks
People get a little anxious on how to cook beef cheeks. There is really only one way, the best way to cook beef cheeks is for a long time slowly.
If you are buying beef cheeks for the first time, purchase them from a reputable butcher. They should come prepared for cooking. The butcher should have trimmed off the sinew. If your cheeks do have some sinew attached, trim it all off for a clean cheek.
Why I love Adam's Beef Cheek Recipe
Adam’s curry is both rich and fresh. Beef cheeks are a very rich cut of meat. The curry sauce itself isn’t that rich, but It is creamy and flavour packed. The sauce and meat are all lightened up with the addition of tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, and baby corn at the last moment.
The vegetables are cooked until they are just tender, then it is time to serve. The curry is given a crown of fresh coriander and crispy lime leaves. Lime wedges served on the side add that final burst of freshness.
This is not only an easy beef cheek recipe but one packed with flavour. If you haven’t cooked with beef cheeks before then Adam’s recipe is the perfect one to get you started.
Recipe Pressure Points
This really is a simple recipe. The biggest pressure points you are going to face are:
- Make sure the beef cheeks are tender before adding the vegetables.
- Do not overcook your vegetables, make sure they retain some crunch factor.
No special equipment needed. If your pot doesn't have a lid, you can improvise with some aluminium foil. Simply take four sheets of foil, large enough to cover the top of the pot and fold down around the edges to keep the steam in while cooking.
Special Ingredients for this Recipe
Have a chat to your local butcher the week before you plan to make this recipe. Check to see if he keeps beef cheeks in stock or if he will need to order them in for you.
Luckily all the vegetables and herbs are readily available from most greengrocers.
What to do with Leftovers
Due to still wanting the vegetables to retain some of their crunch and the addition of cherry tomatoes, this recipe isn't going to freeze that well. Yes, it can be done, but won't be as nice once defrosted and reheated. You will have limp vegetables and mushy tomatoes.
Place any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and use within a couple of days.
Making a shared meal? Add these!
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Beef Cheeks in Red Chilli & Coconut Curry
- 30 ml 1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
- 100 grams red curry paste
- 400 grams beef cheeks
- 1 L chicken stock
- 20 ml 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 star anise
- 7 cardomom pods
- 500 ml 2 cups coconut cream
- ½ red onion cut into chunks
- 6 spears baby corn halved
- 50 grams button mushrooms halved
- 50 grams green beans cut into 5cm lengths
- 50 grams grape tomatoes
- ½ bunch basil leaves
- 5 kaffir lime leaves centre rib removed, julienned and deep fried until crisp
- ½ bunch coriander leaves with a little attached
- Lime wedges and steamed rice to serve
- Heat a large pot (that has a lid) and add the oil. Fry the paste until very fragrant and add the beef cheeks.
- Brown the cheeks in the paste and then add the stock to cover the cheeks. Add fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves, lemongrass, cinnamon, star anise and cardamom.
- Bring to a simmer, cover with pot lid and simmer for around 2 hours until the cheeks are tender.
- Add the coconut cream and simmer uncovered until the sauce is red and rich. Stir through the corn, onion, tomatoes, beans and basil leaves and simmer until the vegetables are just tender.
- Serve the cheeks individually, scattered with crisp lime leaves, fresh coriander and lime wedges. Serve with rice and lime wedges
1. Make sure the beef cheeks are tender before adding the vegetables.
2. Do not overcook your vegetables, make sure they retain some crunch factor.