Slow-cook beef cheek and herb dumpling

Angela Casley shares her recipe for bite-sized dumplings and a flavourful Persian lamb dish.

The key to these is to not rush the slow cooking of the cheek for tender, delicious meat. An idea is to have beef cheeks for dinner and put in an extra one to make these the following day. They are great to make and freeze at the breadcrumb stage.

Makes 12

400g piece beef cheek

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1 Tbsp each chopped fresh rosemary, thyme and parsley

1 cup red wine

1 cup chicken stock

2 large potatoes

1 Tbsp butter

Salt and pepper to taste To coat

¼ cup flour to dust

1 egg, lightly whisked

1 cup breadcrumbs

To serve



1. Heat an oven to 160degC. Sear the beef cheek in a frying pan until browned. Place it in a casserole with the onion, garlic, herbs, wine and stock. Cover and place in the oven for three and a-half hours. Stir a couple of times during cooking. It is done when the meat just falls apart. Remove the cheek from the liquid and shred into a bowl. Add half a cup of the cooked onions and garlic to the meat, mashing it in for all those good flavours to combine. Discard the rest.

2. Peel and boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water until soft. Drain and mash with 1 Tbsp butter. Add the shredded meat, combine well, check the seasoning again and allow to cool.

3. Take small handfuls of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on a plate and refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. Remove from the fridge. Dust the balls with flour, then dip in egg and roll in the breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until ready to cook.

5. Half fill a pot with flavourless oil. Cook the balls a couple at a time, turning for even cooking.

Lamb and split pea Persian stew

I have been using a lot of split peas lately. Maybe because my cousin has just moved to Egypt and keeps sending snaps of delicious dishes that use them, like this Persian stew. Cook it slowly so it’s full of flavour, and then simply serve with couscous.

Serves 4

¼ cup olive oil

1 onion, diced

1 leek, sliced

1 tsp turmeric

½ tsp cinnamon

2 tsp ground coriander

2 tsp dried dill

500g cubed shoulder lamb

1 litre chicken stock

½ cup white wine

2 limes, halved

1 Tbsp chopped rosemary

100g yellow split peas

1 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper

To serve

couscous and a green vegetable


1. Heat oven to 160degC.

2. In a large frying pan heat the oil to a medium heat. Add the onion and leek. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes to soften. Stir through the turmeric, cinnamon, coriander and dill until fragrant.

3. Turn up the heat a little and add the lamb, tossing around to get the flavours of the spices. Pour in the stock, wine and add the limes and rosemary. Cover and place into the oven for one and a-half hours.

4. Then add the split peas, season with salt and pepper, then return to the oven for another hour or until the lamb is completely tender. Add a little extra seasoning, if required.

5. Serve hot with fluffy couscous and a green vegetable. —


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