On the weekend, while no one (including me) was looking, Cooker and a Looker turned two. I went back to my first ever post to check the exact date; the post was vanilla braised beef cheeks and it was cringe worthy.
Re-reading my original post made it clear to me that my blogging style has changed in two years: I put down my iPhone and found my camera,
I removed the stick from my arse I became comfortable writing on the internet. The recipe is a cracker and my post did not do it justice, so I decided to give it a birthday makeover.
Vanilla Braised Beef Cheeks
6 beef cheeks
3 tbs plain flour, seasoned
2 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions
4 garlic cloves, crushed
400ml dry red wine
500ml beef stock
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
⅓ cup brown sugar, tightly packed
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
Season the flour with salt and pepper and put into a plastic bag. Add the beef cheeks individually and toss them in the seasoned flour.
In a large ovenproof casserole dish, heat the oil and cook the cheeks, in batches, over medium heat until sealed (about two minutes per side). Remove the cheeks and keep warm.
Add the butter, garlic, chopped onion and carrot to the same pan and cook for a few minutes.
Add 250ml of the wine, the stock, vanilla, sugar and herbs. Bring to the boil for a moment, then return the beef to pan.
Place a circle of baking paper on the surface of the mixture and cover with a lid. Cook in a 180ºC oven for at least 2 hours. If blogging has taught me anything it’s doing it for longer makes it better. Once finished baking, remove beef, add the remaining red wine and reduce sauce over high heat for 2-3 minutes until reduced slightly. Season, then return beef to pan. Serve with cauliflower mash and green veggies.
Splash of milk
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil, break the cauliflower into florets and cook until soft.
Blend the cauliflower in a food processor, using the milk to achieve a mash consistency.
Add butter, salt and pepper to your own taste.
Just in case anyone thinks I'm being overdramatic about how bad my first photography was (and for a good laugh at my expense); here is my first post, side by side, with today's post.
Writing this blog and building this community over the past two years has been incredibly rewarding. Thank you for continuing to read it despite my dreadful photography and awkward attempts at storytelling. Blogging has filled a gap in my life that would otherwise have been spent watching bad TV and finding fault with my husband. On that note I’m sure that the blog has brought great happiness to Bearhands' life too!