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Ale-Braised Veal Cheeks

The Beer Bistro Cookbook
By Stephen Beaumont and Brian Morin

Serves 8

Ingredients:

5 lbs (2.25 kg) veal cheeks
Pinch salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (125 mL) oil
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and stems discarded
2 to 3 juniper berries
3 cloves garlic
2 cups (500 mL) light to medium bodied brown ale
1 tbsp (15 mL) red wine vinegar
4 1/2 cups (1.125 L) veal stock

Instructions:

Season veal cheeks well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

In a large, deep, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium-high heat, heat oil until very hot but not smoking. Add veal cheeks and brown on all sides.

Remove meat from the pan and drain excess oil. Reduce heat to medium and return cheeks to the pan along with rosemary, thyme, juniper berries, garlic, beer and vinegar.

In a separate medium saucepan, bring veal stock to a boil and pour over cheeks.

Cover the pan with a lid or foil and continue to cook in the oven for six hours or until a knife passes easily through the cheeks.

Remove cheeks from the pan and set aside. Pass liquid through a strainer to remove solids. Skim if necessary.

Return liquid to the pan over medium-high heat and reduce until it thickens and lightly coats the back of a spoon. Reduce heat and return cheeks to sauce. Heat gently until cheeks are warmed through.

Serve over mashed potatoes or sweet potato mash with seasonal vegetables, or over ravioli or other pasta in a butter or light cream sauce.

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