Braised Ox Cheek Risotto with Burnt Onion Shells, Thyme and Smoked Bone Marrow

This recipe is a real labour of love. Yes it takes time but I hope you’ll find the end result to be worth it. Melt in the mouth beef with creamy risotto rice finished with an amazing smoked bone marrow that takes this dish to the next level. The recipe does use a smoking gun but if you don’t have one still use the bone marrow as it will add great flavour.

You will need:

2 Ox Cheeks

180g Risotto Rice

9ooml Quality Beef Stock

1 Carrot

Fresh Thyme

4 Cloves of Garlic

250ml Red Wine

6 Banana Shallots

Bone Marrow

1lt Chicken Stock

150ml White wine

Fresh Parmesan

Salt and Pepper.



1. Firstly you need to prepare the bone marrow the day before. Pop the bone in to the microwave for 30 seconds. This should allow you to push the marrow out of the bone. Trim off any bloody parts then place in a bowl of cold salted water. Cover then place in the fridge overnight. The salt will draw out any excess blood.
2. Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the ox cheek then season with salt. Place in a hot pan and sear both sides for a couple of minutes. Remove then set aside.

3. Take 3 shallots and cut them lengthways, chop your carrot and partially crush 2 cloves of garlic in there skin. Gently fry with a little olive oil then add in your red wine. After a minute add in your stock, a few sprigs of thyme and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Add in your ox cheeks and place in the oven  at 140 degrees with the lid on for 8 hours. You will need to turn the meat every couple of hours. Once it is cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool. Strain off the sauce then place the meat and sauce in a bowl and cover. Place in the fridge and chill overnight.

4. Day 2! Pour off the water from the bone marrow and pat dry. Place the marrow in a bowl and cover with clingfilm. Poke a small hole in the clingfilm and place the nozzle of the smoking gun through the  hole. Fill the bowl with smoke then add more clingfilm to cover the hole. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4 hours.
5. Finely chop 3 shallots and 2 cloves of garlic. Meanwhile put your stock in a pan to heat. Add a little oil to your pan then gently sweat off the onions and garlic. Add a few thyme leaves then add your rice. Stir the rice for a couple of minutes before pouring in your wine. Cook until the wine has almost disappeared then slowly add your stock a ladle at a time while stirring. The whole process should take around 25-30 minutes but test your rice and finish when it’s to your liking.
6. After about 10 minutes place your beef cheeks and sauce to a pan and warm through.
7. With your remaining 2 shallots slice them lengthways and place cut side down until they have a nice char. You will notice that the onion starts to separate. After a few minutes take out the shallots and carefully peel each shallot so you have individual shells.
8. The ox cheeks should now have warmed through. Take it out then vigorously boil and reduce the sauce until you have a deep sticky finish. Add in a couple of knobs of butter and whisk. Put the cheeks back in and gently roll in the sauce.

9. Add in a couple of tablespoons of Parmesan to your risotto then add a good grating of the bone marrow. Stir well then prepare to serve.

10. Place your rice in to each bowl then top with the ox cheek. Add the onion shells then spoon over a little of the beef stock sauce over the ox cheek then around the rice. Scatter over a few fresh thyme leaves and serve.



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