Signature Living


Beef Cheeks ala Mexico served with a Smokey red salsa

WINE PAIRING: Beyerskloof

Reuben paired his dish (above) with one of the following wines:
Diesel Pinotage 2012
Pinotage Reserve 2012

Beef Cheeks ala Mexico served with a Smokey red salsa
Beef Cheeks ala Mexico served with a Smokey red salsa
Beef Cheeks ala Mexico served with a Smokey red salsa
Beef Cheeks ala Mexico served with a Smokey red salsa

Beef cheeks

Cooking Method

Start with the Beef

In a food processor add the
chopped onion,
and garlic,
and blend
until it is well combined.
and place into a saucepan,
with a bit of oil.
and stir over medium low heat,
until the garlic is golden.
For about 5 min.

Regulate the temperature to allow the onions and garlic to gradually caramelise.

Add the peppercorns,
Whole clove,
Star anise,
Cumin seed,
And Coriander seeds,
into a mortar and pestle,
and start to grind until finely crushed,
Add the crushed spices,
to the onion mixture,
and add the cinnamon,
beef pieces
and cocoa powder
Add a good pinch of salt,
and stir occasionally until the spices have caramelised,
but not burnt.
For about 8 to 10 min.

Mexicans are renowned to add chocolate to their meat dishes. Let’s Continue

Add tomato
and red pepper,
into a food processor,
and process until smooth.
When done,
and add to the beef mixture.
Stir well,
And cover with a tight fitting lid.
Reduce the heat to low,
And cook,
Stirring occasionally,
Until the meat is tender.
This takes about 3 hours.

Beef cheeks has got a very nice texture when cooked. Slow cooking them is the ideal way to prepare this cut.

When the meat is tender,
Take a fork
And start to shred the beef.
now add the red wine vinegar
and combine well together.
Now keep warm until later

Smokey red salsa:

Start by taking a griddle pan,
and heating it over very high heat.
Now take the onion,
Red Pepper,
And the chilli
and grill until completely blackened on all sides.
This takes about 15 min.
When done,
Remove from the pan,
And allow to cool to room temperature.

The thin waxy skin on the outside of the vegetables is what gives the dark colour.
It will give a smoky flavour to the inner flesh of the vegetables.

When cooled,
Start to peel the onion,
And the garlic.
Remove the skins ,
and the seeds,
from the tomato,
And the chillies.
Now place all the vegetables into a blender,
And add the lime juice,
And a pinch of salt.
Now start to blend,
Until all is well combined and smooth
When done,
Check for seasoning and add some salt and pepper if necessary
Now remove,
And place into a bowl.
Keep aside until later

Now for the final touches

Take a small bowl,
And add onion,
And coriander,
Into the bowl.
Mix well together.
Keep it aside until later.
Take a non-stick pan,
And briefly warm the tortillas AND PLATE.
This dish has a few steps to it,
but once you get going,
It is very easy to prepare.


Braised Beef Cheeks:

½ large onion, coarsely chopped
5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
35 ml canola oil
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 each whole clove and star anise
1 tsp cumin seeds
1½ tbsp coriander seeds
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp sweet paprika
500 gm beef cheek, cut into large dice (about 4cm x 7cm)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tomato, coarsely chopped
¼ red capsicum, coarsely chopped
1 tsp red wine vinegar

Smokey Red Salsa:

¼ onion, skin on
6 garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 ripe tomato
1/3 red pepper
½ long red chilli
2 tsp lime juice