Meltingly tender beef cheeks cooked in stout - a winter warmer to beat all winter warmers!

Ingredients

  • 2 beef cheeks, about 750g (1lb 10oz) total weight (each beef cheek weighs about 375g/13oz), cut into 3cm (1¼in) chunks
  • 125 g (4½oz) smoked bacon, cut into 2cm (¾in) pieces
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tblsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 200 g (7oz) leeks, trimmed, washed, halved and cut into 1cm (½in) slices
  • 200 g (7oz) celery, trimmed and cut into 1cm (½in) slices
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) irish stout
  • 200 ml (7fl oz) chicken or beef stock
  • 200 g (7oz) cavolo nero (weight with stalks)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3.
  2. Place a flameproof casserole or ovenproof saucepan on a medium–high heat and add the olive oil. Season the beef cheeks and bacon with salt and pepper, then put in the hot pan and brown on both sides. Remove from the pan. Add the leeks, celery and garlic and season, then cook for 3 – 4 minutes until light golden. Return the beef cheeks and bacon to the pan, add the stout and stock and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, transfer to the oven and cook for 3 hours or until the beef is meltingly tender. Once the meat is cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the beef and bacon to a plate.
  3. Tip all the juices and vegetables into a sieve placed over a heatproof bowl and push through to get a smooth sauce. Pour back into the casserole, add the beef and bacon and bring to the boil on the hob.
  4. Remove and discard the cavolo nero stalks, then shred the leaves. Add the leaves to the casserole, stir, cover and cook for 1–2 minutes until the kale is tender.