I LOVE cooking but right now with Small Poppies, I don’t have much time on my hands to get in the kitchen! A few weeks ago, we were asked by the lovely folks at Crock-Pot to test out their new Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi Cooker.
I’ll admit I did a bit of research before I said yes because I’m always super sceptical of the magical “12-in-one, will solve all of your dinner problems” machines. This wee beaut though, this is actually magical and now that I have it in my life, it’s never leaving! I honestly don’t know how I have done life without it and if you’ve seen Snapchat, you’ll know just how much I love it.
The only time we ever really get to sit down and have a proper family meal at the moment is on a Sunday when I don’t have a class to teach. In between homeschooling Izzy, all of the special needs kiddo stuff and teaching Small Poppies, life is a little chaotic and by the time dinner rolls around, I’ve tapped out and cooking is the last thing I want to do.
I think it is so important to sit down and eat together as a family. Not only is it quality time spent together but it helps to set healthy eating habits and table manners. This wee Crock-Pot is helping me change my ways which I am super excited about! I’m spending less time in the kitchen cooking and washing the stack of dishes and more time with Nick and Izzy before we sit down to eat together as a family.
I’ve made an 8-minute apple crumble, the one pot Express Paella from the recipe book, tonight for dinner I made 5 minute Spag Bol and of course, THIS!!!
Beef Cheeks 2 ways with Cheesy Mash can only be described as “the most epic dinner ever!”. Let’s talk about that because not only do you need a Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi Cooker in your life (which a few of you now have and I totally feel like we need to start our own group!) BUT you also NEED these beef cheeks. Also, if it wasn’t for my babes Emma, these beef cheeks wouldn’t have happened!
It’s quite hard to explain how delicious they are! They’re so freaking tender that it’s like cutting through butter with a hot knife, they melt in your mouth, it’s a hearty meal and teamed up with the mash and red wine sauce…. heaven in your stomach.
- - 4x 300-350g beef cheeks, also known as ox cheeks
- - 1 carrot, diced
- - 1 stalk of celery, diced
- - 1 brown onion, diced
- - 3 tsp crushed garlic
- - 500mls merlot ( a decent $10ish dollar bottle works wonders!)
- - 250mls beef stock
- - 1 tsp dried thyme
- - 4 dried bay leaves
- - salt and pepper
- - 5 medium sized potatoes
- - 180mls cream, heated
- - 2 TBSP butter
- - 250g cheese, grated
- - salt and pepper to taste
- - Pop 2 TBSP of olive oil into the Crock-Pot and hit the saute/brown function. Leave it to heat for 2 minutes and while you’re waiting, trim off any fat from your beef cheeks. Pat dry with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
- - Sear the cheeks on each side, pop them onto a plate and loosely cover with tin foil. You may need to work in batches.
- - Add 1 TBSP of oil to the pot, let it heat up and chuck in your carrot, onion and garlic. Saute until the onion becomes translucent. In goes your celery and let it cook for a few minutes. Remove them from the pot and pop them off to the side.
- - Pour in your red wine and let it simmer for a minute. Be sure to scrap the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to pick up any bits on the bottom.
- - Add in your beef stock, a good dash of salt and pepper, thyme and bay leaves and give it a good stir.
- - Pop your carrots, onion and celery back and carefully pop the beef cheeks on top.
- - On goes the lid, seal it on up hit the slow cook function, set the temp for low and pop the timer on for 8 hours OR high for 6. Hit the start button and relax!
- - Follow all of the above directions and make sure the valve on the lid is closed.
- - Hit the pressure cook function, set the pressure and temp to high and pop the timer on for 1 hour and 20 minutes.
- 20 minutes before the beef cheeks have finished cooking, you’ll want to get started on the mash!
- - Peel, wash and dice your potatoes up into 1cm chunks. Chuck them into a pop of cold water and onto the element they go. Boil for 10-15 minutes or until they’re super soft.
- - Flick the element off, drain the potatoes and pop them back into the pot. Heat your cream in the microwave for 1 minute or until hot.
- - Add your butter and cream into the pot and using a masher, mash until super smooth! Stir through your cheese and season with salt and pepper.
- - Once your cheeks are cooked, remove them from the Crock-Pot, pop them onto a plate and loosely cover with tin foil. Discard the bay leaves.
- - Using a stick blender, blend together the carrots, onion and celery and red wine until smooth.
- - Hit the saute function and simmer until the sauce has turned a darkish brown colour and it has reduced by about 1/2 a cup. This takes about 5 minutes!
- If you’re wanting a thicker sauce, remove a little liquid from the pot and pop it into a cup. Mix in 1/2 TBSP cornflour, give it a good mix and return to the pot to thicken.
- - Pop a good dollop or two of mash onto your plate, place a beef cheek on top and lather that beaut with a good helping of red wine sauce!
This Beef Cheeks 2 ways with Cheesy Mash is life changing. I’m not usually one to toot my own horn but these are on par with the ones you get at Gusto in SkyCity AND if that doesn’t sell it for you, Izzy, who has major SPD issues, demolished her dinner and licked the plate clean.
I now totally feel like I can a have bunch of people over for dinner because a) I can cook epic, melt in your mouth beef cheeks that will impress them and b) I can set it all up and let it work its magic which takes the stress out of being a grown up and hosting a dinner party.
Crock-Pot Express Crock Multi Cooker retails for $149 AUD/$249 NZD and while I was fortunate (and incredibly grateful!) enough to be gifted this to test out, I can promise ya, you’ll most definitely get all the bang for your buck!
Tags : DINNER IDEAS