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- Preheat the oven to 150˚C/130˚C fan/gas mark 2.
- Trim any large, fatty membrane from the beef cheeks and pat them dry with kitchen paper. Season the beef on all sides.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy casserole dish over a high heat. Sear the beef cheeks on both sides until nicely browned, working in batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove the cheeks to a plate and tent loosely with foil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-high and add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan. Add the onion and carrots and cook for 4-5 minutes until onion is becoming translucent. Add the celery and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the wine and bubble for 2-3 minutes, scraping any sticky bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.
- Stir in the thyme, bay leaves, beef stock and some salt and black pepper. Cover with the lid and place in the oven for 3½ hours until the cheeks are very tender, turning once during cooking.
- Remove the beef cheeks to a plate. Discard the thyme and bay leaves. Use a stick blender to whizz the braising liquid into a smooth gravy.
- Bring the gravy to a simmer over a medium heat and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring often, until darker and reduced by about one third.
- Taste the gravy and add extra salt or pepper if needed.
- Serve the beef cheeks with creamy mashed potatoes, peas and the gravy.
Per serving: 508kcals, 24.6g fat (9.3g saturated), 7.3g carbs, 3g sugars, 49.5g protein, 2.5g fibre, 0.436g sodium
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