Galicia is well known for its beef and dairy cows. Most of their cattle are grass fed on the lush pastures around San Isidoro. As in Ireland, it is only in the winter that they are brought in doors. The cheek of the ox is a wonderful alternative to any of the prime cuts you generally associate with beef, namely, the loin and the fillet. Cooked slowly for a long time, it is a deeply rewarding cut. Tetilla is a cow’s cheese that originates from the province of A Coruña. Its name means ‘little tit’, as the mould used to shape it resembles a breast. In this recipe we use the rind to make a sharp cheese sauce that complements the richness of the beef.
– 1 red chicory, quartered
– 50g almonds, roasted
– 25g butter
– Olive oil
– Sea salt
For the beef cheek
– 2 large beef cheek
– 500ml stout
– 1 carrot, peeled
– 1 onion, chopped
– 2 celery stalks, chopped
– Small handful of flat-leaf parsley
For the cheese sauce
–75g tetilla cheese rind (you can use a soft cheese rind such as Durrus as an alternative)
– 350ml vegetable oil
– 2 eggs
– Sea salt
1.To cook the beef cheek: Trim the beef cheek of all sinew. Season liberally with sea salt and place in an oven proof container. Place the vegetables and parsley around the cheek and cover with the stout. If the cheeks are not covered completely top up with a little water. Place in a 160˚C oven for 3-4 hours until completely tender. You will know when they’re down as a knife will pass easily through them. Remove the cheeks and strain the sauce. Reduce the sauce by half or until it coats the back of a spoon
2.For the cheese sauce: place the rind in the vegetable oil and leave in the fridge for 1 week. Taste the oil after a week. If it still needs more flavour leave it for longer. Drop the two eggs into boiling water for 3 minutes. Remove immediately after the 3 minutes and place in ice water. Crack the eggs open into a jug. Season with some sea salt. With the aid of a hand blender, bend the oil and the eggs together. This is like a mayonnaise so be sure to add the oil in gradually. If the sauce gets too thick you can let it down with a little water. Place in a small plastic bottle or a piping bag.
3.Panfry the chicory quarters in a little butter and oil until soft and wilted. Add the almonds.
4.To serve: slice the beef cheeks and warm in a pot with the sauce. Place the chicory and almond mix on the base and the cheeks on top. Arrange a few dots of the cheese sauce around the cheese. Finish with a little grated almond if you wish.
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