3 Ox Cheeks
2 Carrots, chopped
2 Celery, chopped
1 Onion, chopped
2 Garlic Cloves
500ml of Red Wine
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
750ml of Beef Stock
2 Bay Leaves
1 Star Anise
1 tsp Thyme
2 tbsp of Tomato Purée
100g of Plain Flour, seasoned with a generous grinding of salt
Flat-leaf Parsley, to serve
1] Trim any excess fat off the ox cheeks and place this fat into a large pan. Place over a moderate heat and allow the fat to melt and render down.
2] While this is happening, cut each cheek into six even pieces and dust lightly and evenly with the seasoned flour.
3] Once the fat has completely rendered down, increase the heat and add the ox cheeks to the hot fat, browning all over until dark and golden. You may need to add a little extra oil if the pan is too dry. Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside to cool.
4] Preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2.
5] Add the chopped onions, carrots, celery and garlic to the same pan over a moderate-low heat and sweat down in the residual fat until soft and lightly caramelised.
6] Increase the heat and add the meat back to the pan along with the tomato purée. Mix together so that the ox cheeks and vegetables are coated in the purée and cook out for 2–3 minutes.
7] Deglaze the pan with the brandy, scraping the base of the pan to mix in all the caramelised meat and vegetables. Add the wine, clove, cinnamon, stock, thyme, star anise, bay and anchovies then bring everything to the boil.
8] Cover the pan with a lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 2 hours and 30 minutes.
9] After this time check the meat to ensure the cheeks are very tender, but not falling apart. Return to the oven, turn off the heat and leave to sit for 30 minutes for the flavours to improve.
10] To serve, reheat either in the oven or on the stove and season to taste, serve hot with mashed potato or soft polenta.