Recipes | Slow-cooked ox cheek in spicy tomato sauce

Recipes

Slow-cooked ox cheek in spicy tomato sauce

A warming wintry recipe from José Pizarro's fabulous new book Catalonia - the perfect dish to cook on a cold frosty night.

José writes: "If you go to Palafrugell, you must visit the market. It’s a great place to go for all the food you’ll need for the day or weekend ahead, and you’ll inevitably end up buying many things you didn’t go there for, just because there’s so much choice.

The farmers are very proud of what they’ve brought to market, so spend a little time chatting to them and they’ll be delighted.

On the day we went, the ox cheek that was available was just stunning, so we made this dish for our lunch."

Slow-cooked ox cheek in spicy tomato sauce

Serves 6

4 tablespoons olive oil

1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) ox cheek in large chunks

2 tablespoons plain (all-purpose) flour, to dust

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 stick celery, finely chopped

6 anchovies, chopped

2 teaspoons sweet smoked pimentón

2 teaspoons hot smoked pimentón

handful thyme sprigs

300 ml (10 fl oz) red wine

2 × 400 g (14 oz) tins chopped tomatoes

150 ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock

Heat half the oil in a casserole dish. Dust the ox cheek in the plain flour with plenty of seasoning, add to the dish and brown in batches. Set aside.

Heat the rest of the oil in the pan and fry the onion, carrot and celery for 10 minutes until softened. Add the anchovies and pimentón and cook for a minute. Then add the thyme and red wine and bubble until reduced by half.

Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Simmer gently, covered for 2 hours. Uncover and cook for a further 30 minutes – 1 hour, or until the ox cheek is really tender and the sauce reduced and thickened. Rest for 15 minutes then serve with a chicory & pomegranate salad (also in the book) if you like.

What to drink: You really want a big rich red such as a Priorat with this dish FB

Catalonia: Recipes from Barcelona and Beyond by José Pizarro (Hardie Grant, £25) Photography © Laura Edwards

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