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Beef cheeks with saffron risotto

Posted by Peter Carruthers on

Serve: 6        Preparation time: 30 mins        Cooking time: 3-4 hours

Traditionally saffron risotto (Risotto alla Milanese) is served with Osso Buco. In our version we pair it with slow-cooked beef cheeks, which become meltingly tender and develop an intense Flaovur that goes so well with the famous yellow risotto. Transport yourself to Milan's Navigli area with this simply perfect combination; so much nicer than serving a stew with boiled potatoes or mash. For that matter serve any rich beef stew with this risotto for a great change.



Beef Cheeks
1 1/2 kg beef cheeks
Cup 1/2 olive oil
3 carrots, roughly chopped
1 garlic bulb, halved
1 brown onion, sliced
2 Cups beef stock*
2 Cups red wine
3 bay leaves
3 Tbsp thyme leaves
1 tsp fine sea salt
* Alternatively use Pedro Ximinez sherry if you are feeling fancy.
Saffron Risotto
2 packs Riso Scotti Risotto alla Milanese


  1. Trim the beef cheeks to neaten them up and remove any sinew and silver skin. Season well.
  2. Heat half the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Brown the beef cheeks for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden, then remove from the pan.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil, then add the carrot, garlic and onion and sauté over high heat for 12-15 minutes, or until well browned. Stir in the stock (or sherry), wine, bay leaves, thyme, sea salt and an extra 2 cups of water.
  4. Reduce the heat as low as possible, add the beef cheeks, then cover and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the cheeks are beginning to fall apart. Remove cheeks before reducing the sauce. (Can be frozen at this stage for later use. If so, defrost, remove cheeks from sauce, proceed with reduction.)
  5. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve and return to the pan; gently reheat the cheeks in the sauce if necessary.
  6. Follow the pack instructions for the risotto, and serve immediately when ready.

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