Operating from The Kitchens at Spitalfields Market, Flank was one of the most exciting new openings of 2017. Alongside a prominent focus on beef (unsurprisingly), Flank also champions nose-to-tail cooking, challenging grim British stereotypes of offal.
This beef nose-to-tail stew recipe, for instance, celebrates a selection of the cow’s under-loved cuts: conclusive proof that offal isn’t awful.
“A total homely stew from my childhood. I guess everyone has their own way of doing a stew, but at Flank we collect trim (etc.) through the week, using some real tough cuts you can get from your butcher and added offal to create a truly hearty dish.”
Beef cheek, 500g
Beef trim, 120g (bacon can be used as an alternative)
Beef liver, 100g
Beef heart, 100g
Shallots, 6, roughly chopped
Carrots, 2, roughly chopped
Celery sticks, 3, roughly chopped
Garlic, 2 cloves, smashed
Bay leaf, 1
Thyme, 4 sprigs
Rosemary, 2 sprigs
Dijon mustard, 1 tsp
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, 50ml
Star anise, 1
Tomato purée, 150g
Beef stock, 200ml
Red wine, 750ml
Seasoned flour, enough to dust the ox cheeks
“Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/ gas mark 2.
“In a big old cast iron pot hit the heat up pretty high on the hob or a bbq (but that’s pushing the boat out).
“Roll the ox cheeks in the seasoned flour, then pat off any excess. Chuck the butter into the pot with a little oil, add the meat – it should sound like a good sizzle. Cook, turning, until well browned all over. (You may need to do this in batches.) Take care not to burn the butter.
“Remove the meat and set aside. Add the lardons or trim and fry until lightly coloured. Add the veg, bay leaves, herbs and spices and cook for 15 minutes until the veg is just soft. Make sure the heat is low. Stir in the garlic, then the tomato purée. Stir occasionally until the purée starts to catch the bottom of the pan, then cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
“Add the wine and stock then return the meat to the dish, Bring the stew to barely a simmer, then cover and put in the oven. Cook for 6/7 hours, or until the cheeks are tender when prodded with a cutlery knife. Turn the cheeks occasionally during the cooking time.
“Once cooked leave to rest, dice up all your offal pretty fine and gently fold through. The temperature of the stew will slowly poach the offal and won’t over cook it.
“Stir through the salt, then serve with mash and veg, if you like. Personally I love a dumpling: use the recipe on the packet it’s fool proof.”
Further information on Flank can be found here.