Ox cheek stew with orange & star anise

Rich and melt-in-the-mouth, this slow-cook dish makes for a deliciously hearty dinner 

  • Preparation time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Total time: 4 hours 25 minutes

Serves: 6 - 8

Ingredients

2-3 tbsp vegetable oil
2kg Waitrose British Ox Cheek (from the service counter)
2 carrots, roughly diced
2 onions, roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 star anise
8cm strip orange zest
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
5 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
8 dried pitted dates
2 x 500ml packs Cooks’ Ingredients Beef Stock

Method

1. Heat half the oil in a very large casserole over a medium to high heat. Season the ox cheeks. When the oil is hot, carefully brown them, in batches, until deep golden brown on all sides, adding the remaining oil as needed.

2. Remove the meat from the casserole, add the carrots, onions and celery and fry, stirring, for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the star anise, orange zest, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and tomatoes and fry for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the tomatoes are beginning to break down.

3. Return the ox cheeks to the casserole along with the dates, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently, half-covered, for 3½ hours, until very tender.

4. If you wish, transfer the cooked meat to a large dish and cover tightly with clingfilm to keep warm. Strain the remaining casserole contents through a fine sieve, collecting the strained liquid in a clean saucepan.

5. Bring the strained liquid to the boil, then simmer until it has reduced by one-third to a thick gravy. Pull the ox cheeks into large bite-sized pieces and lower them into the gravy. Cover and heat through for 5 minutes.

6. Stir chopped parsley into the stew, if desired, and serve with buttery mashed potatoes and Tenderstem broccoli.