Applewood-Roasted Brandt Beef Cheeks with Macaroni and Cheese and Otis Street Steak Sauce

Applewood-Roasted Brandt Beef Cheeks with Macaroni and Cheese and Otis Street Steak Sauce

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Credit: Jay Murray, Executive Chef, Grill 23, Boston
The National Culinary Review, June 2010


4 (approx. 8 oz. each) whole-muscle Brandt
Beef cheeks, completely denuded
1 T. cider vinegar
Spice Rub (recipe follows)
Macaroni and Cheese (recipe follows)
Otis Street Steak Sauce (recipe follows)

Spice Rub
1 t. coriander seed
1 t. mixed peppercorns
½ t. black cumin
½ t. cumin seed
½ t. celery seed
8 allspice berries
1 star anise pod
½ cup sel gris or other coarse sea salt
½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sweet smoked paprika
1 T. dry mustard

Macaroni and Cheese
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 oz. high-quality smoked bacon, cut into lardoons
2 T. flour
¼ cup white wine
1 pint heavy cream, hot
¼ lb. aged Vermont cheddar
¼ lb. Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ cup crumbled Stilton or other blue cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups cooked pasta (al dente), lumachine or conchigliette

Otis Street Steak Sauce
1 onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves
½ lb. unsalted butter
1 T. kosher salt
2 t. dry mustard
2 t. smoked paprika
2 t. black pepper
½ t. ground cloves
2 T. tomato paste
18 oz. beef broth
16 oz. dark corn syrup
8 oz. red wine vinegar
8 oz. red wine
2 T. molasses


Method: Prepare smoker or gas grill for applewood smoking between 200ºF and 225ºF. Briefly massage beef cheeks with cider vinegar. Coat cheeks completely with thin, even layer of spice rub. Place on wire rack set in roasting pan; place roasting pan in smoker or grill (maintain low heat). Cook to internal temperature of 191ºF, about 5 hours, adding more wood, as necessary, and basting occasionally with juices that accumulate in pan. Serve immediately over macaroni and cheese with steak sauce on the side.

Spice Rub
Method: In dry pan, toast coriander seed, peppercorns, black cumin, cumin seed, celery seed, allspice and anise until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Grind in spice grinder or coffee grinder. Combine with salt, sugar, paprika and mustard.

Macaroni and Cheese
Method: Over low-medium heat, render bacon lardoons in olive oil until crispy. Remove bacon; reserve. Add flour to olive oil/bacon fat mixture; whisk thoroughly to combine. Cook, whisking often, for 5 minutes. Add wine all at once, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Add hot cream; whisk to thoroughly combine all ingredients. Add cheeses, one at a time, stirring after each addition until fully incorporated. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold cooked pasta and reserved bacon into cheese mixture; heat through. Taste; adjust with salt and pepper.

Otis Street Steak Sauce
Method: Sweat onions and garlic in butter until translucent. Add salt, mustard, paprika, pepper and cloves. Cook 3 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, corn syrup, vinegar, wine and molasses; bring to a slow simmer. Cook over low heat; reduce by a third.


4 servings


Beef, Main Dish, Pasta, The National Culinary Review

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