braised ox cheeks with sage and croutons – serves 4

4 ox cheeks
salt & pepper
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 garlic cloves sliced
2 tbsp tomato purée
400ml red wine
500ml beef stock
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
3 large pieces of orange zest

2 slices of bread (cut into 2cm squares)
30g butter
1 bunch sage

Preheat the oven to 160ºC

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a flameproof casserole over a high heat and sear the meat all over until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add all the vegetables to the pot and cook for 5-6 minutes until softened.

Add the tomato purée and cook until lightly browned.

Add half the wine to the pot to deglaze. Boil until all the liquid is reduced, then add the remaining wine, stock, herbs and orange zest, and return the meat to the pot. Bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2 to 2 ½ hours.

Rremove the meat from the pot and set aside. Strain the sauce, discarding the vegetables and reduce until it thickens. Return the meat to the sauce and keep warm.

Hheat the remaining oil in a frying pan and sear the sage until crisp, then remove and set aside.

To make the croutons, heat the butter in a frying pan and fry the bread until golden brown.

To serve, arrange the meat on preheated plates and sprinkle with croutons and sage.

Serve with mashed potatoes or mashed root vegetables.