A summery beef cheek and runner bean stew
Every year at the allotment we grow runner beans. I have a bit of an ambivalent relationship with runner beans. I am not completely fond of the flavour but then it adds that extra to some dishes and I only cook them in runner bean season! One of my favourite way to cook them is in a stew. As it has cooled down I thought this would work.
I was working from home and decided to take the opportunity to go to the butcher and make a light summer stew. I didn’t have much time to spend on cooking so I wanted something that needed a minimum of preparation time and then could take care of itself. I was thinking about braising beef but was delighted to find beef cheeks at Robson’s butcher. It was perfect!.
I had a quick think and wanted to make a summery beef cheek and runner bean stew. Beef cheeks need a long cooking time, around 3 hours is perfect so this was the dish of the day.
Summery beef cheek and runner bean stew
Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 3 hours
Oven 160C or 320F
For the beef
- 2 beef cheeks
- 1 dl or 1/2 cup of flour
- 3 tsp salt
- 2-3 tsp pepper
- 1/2 – 1 tsp cayenne
- oil for cooking
For the stew
- I bottle of red wine
- a good handful of runner beans
- 2 beetroots
- 2 celery sticks
- 3 garlic cloves
- 10 shallot onions
- 3 dl or 1 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1/2 dl or 1/4 cup vinegar, I used one flavoured by passion fruit and chilli that I made last week
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- 1/2 – 1 dl or 1/4 – 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 3 bayleaves
- salt & pepper to taste
- Courgette, cut in to chunks
Trim the beef cheeks and cut them in to chunks. Mix the flour and the spices. Peel and cube the beetroot, cut up the celery, de string the runner beans and cut them up. Cut the garlic and peel the shallot onions.
Dust the meat in the flour and pan fry in an oven proof dish until browned. When this is done remove the meat and pan fry the vegetables.
When the vegetables start to colour add the meat back and then add the shaoxing rice wine, the bay leaves, the beef stock, the soy sauce, the vinegar and the bottle of red wine. Stir, put the lid on and place the pan in the oven. Leave it there for 2 1/2 hours.
This gave me just enough time to finish my working day and when it was done I took the dish out and finished it on the cooker after adding the courgette. I didn’t add anything else and served it as it was. It was light and summery despite the red wine and the beef. The beef chunks were so tender we ate it with a fork and a spoon, time is such a luxury!