Lunchbreak: Chef Hubert Keller makes beer braised wagyu beef cheeks

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Hubert Keller

Beer Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks enhanced with Ginger and Lemongrass

4 pounds Wagyu beef cheeks
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 small onions, peeled, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 2‐inch piece fresh ginger, peeled, sliced thinly
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 stalk lemongrass
2 cups Sophie from Goose Island
1 1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes with juice (from a 1-qt can)
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups beef stock
1 sprig fresh sage

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Heat olive oil in 5‐quart sauté or casserole pan over high heat. Lay the Wagyu beef cheeks out on a clean work surface and season all sides with salt and pepper. When oil is almost smoking, add the cheeks and let sear on high heat, 5 minutes per side or until well browned. Use tongs to rotate the cheeks. Once browned on all sides, remove the cheeks with tongs and place on a baking tray. Add onions, carrots, celery, ginger, and garlic to the same pan. Smash the lemongrass stalk with the back of knife, slice, and add to pan. Sauté vegetables for 2 minutes, or until softened. Over high heat, add the beer and scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon as beer comes to a boil. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, brown sugar, parsley, beef stock and sage leaves to pan and bring to a simmer. Add the cheeks back into pan and cover with a
tight‐fitting lid. Place casserole in pre‐heated oven for 1.5 hours. Remove cover and continue cooking for an additional 1 hour. When the cheeks are very tender, remove them from the oven, using tongs to place on baking tray. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm. Pour the sauce through a fine‐mesh strainer into a saucepan, removing all of the vegetables. Over medium low heat, simmer the sauce for 5 minutes until darker in color and thicker. Add the cheeks to reheat. Serve the cheeks with sauce over polenta or cream of celery or other side dish of your choice.

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