I’m not normally a planner, even Christmas can tend to be a last minute scramble to get my ham in the cure in time to be ready on the day. But I’m trying to get a little more organised in my cooking.
This year for Mother’s Day I’m cooking luncheon for two mothers, mine (79) and my partner’s (87). To add to the interest factor, we’ll be serving lunch at my mother-in-law’s little independent living unit at her retirement community. Room is definitely at a premium… And I thought my kitchen was small!
The plan is to have as much pre-cooked as possible and merely reheat while we’re enjoying Mother’s Day bubbles.
As usual, I’ve tried to chose something familiar to them but a little special with the addition that I’m on a pretty close budget. So, I chose beef cheeks. I want that familiar braise texture, silky and comforting.
Research has given me more than a little cause for pause, though. It seems suggested times are anything from 9 hours to 36… and temperature suggestions range from 58C all the way up to 80C.
I plan to sous vide the beef cheeks with a standard mirepoix, garlic, thyme and bay and probably some cabernet sauv or shiraz (depending on which I grab from the wine rack). I’ll get the cheeks cooked and seared, the sauce sorted and repack it all for travel.
I’m planning to serve it with buttery mashed potatoes and ratatouille. The potatoes I intend to sous vide once I’ve taken care of the beef. The ratatouille will be done by traditional method, though I might look at a few special options.
Dessert is to be decided, but again it’ll be a prepare ahead in a jar job, I think. Anything chocolate is out, so maybe a creme brulee, but something tangy might be an idea after the richness. Lime? More thought might be needed there.
Any ideas or improvements on the plan would be appreciated.