Ginger-Soy Braised Beef Cheeks With Roasted Pumpkin Puree
by Johnny Loua, Chef, Seattle, Washington
- 1 pound Certified Piedmontese beef cheeks
- 1 cup rice flour
- 2 tablespoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ cup canola oil
- 1 cup dice onions
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 1 cup roughly chopped scallions
- 4 ribs celery, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 cup soy sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup sake
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
In a small bowl, combine the rice flour, granulated garlic, salt, and pepper. Dredge the beef cheeks in the flour mixture. In a large skillet, heat the oil until smoking hot and sear the dredged beef cheeks to a nice brown color.
Remove the meat and transfer to a baking dish or Dutch oven. To the same hot skillet, add the onions, garlic, ginger, scallion, celery, and cilantro and brown.
Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, beef stock, and sake and mix well. Once the vegetables are browned, add them to the baking dish or Dutch oven and cover with the soy sauce mixture.
Transfer the baking dish or Dutch oven to a 350-degree oven and braise for 2 hours. Remove from the oven, separate the meat and strain the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve. Add the meat back to the strained liquid. Serve with Pumpkin Puree (recipe follows) and sautéed or steamed broccolini.
- Pumpkin Puree
- 4 cups diced pumpkin
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the pumpkin until soft and tender. Drain the pumpkin and transfer to a blender. Add the olive oil, allspice, salt, and pepper and blend until smooth. Always use caution when blending hot liquids: Start with less liquid than you might typically use; place a kitchen towel over the steam opening on the lid of your blender so steam can safely escape. Once blended, set pumpkin puree aside until ready to serve.
Pairing: Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon