Beef Cheek Ragu

Ingredients

3 large beef cheeks
Texas steak rub from Angus & Oink
2 carrots, finely diced
2 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red chilli, finely diced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 440ml can of chopped tomatoes
500ml beef stock
500ml red wine
2 sprigs fresh time
1 bay leaf

BBQ Used: Kamado Joe Classic II
Cooking Method: Indirect (in petromax Dutch Oven)
Fuel used: Lumpwood Charcoal
Cooking Temperature: 120-130c

Method

Setup your Kamado joe with a fire in the bottom and the accessory rack on the lowest level. Place a dutch oven onto the accessory rack to prepare the sauce in and pre-heat. Aim for a temperature of 120-130c for the first portion of the cook as you need to give the beef cheeks time to break down.

For the sauce, add a splash of oil to dutch oven and add your diced veg. Saute the veg for a few minutes until the onions start to soften then add your minced garlic, chilli and ginger. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes until you can smell the garlic coming through then add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, beef stock and wine. mix everything together then dunk in your fresh time and bay leaf. Allow this mixture to come up to a simmer while you prepare the beef cheeks.

If your butcher has not already removed the excess fat and silver skin from your beef cheeks then you will need to trim it away. Cut the beef cheeks into 2 inch chunks. We are using the over the top method to slow cook the beef cheeks for the first couple of hours. Place the cooking grates over the dutch oven and place the beef cheeks onto it, directly over the dutch oven.

As the beef cheeks cook, they will start to drip into the sauce adding a rich flavour. Close the lid of the BBQ and let the beef cheeks cook for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, it’s time to add the beef cheeks to the sauce to braise them. Remove the bay leaf and sprigs of thyme at this point. Check your sauce at this stage – if it has thickened too much, add another 200-300mls of beef stock then add in the chunks of beef cheeks. Mix them through the sauce then close the lid and allow them to braise until they fall apart.

It’s hard to say how long this will take. Check them after a couple of hours – if you can press them with your spoon and they fall apart then they are good to go.

This is a great winter warmer dish you can stick onto the grill and get on with your day but the end results are phenomenal.