Wakanui Beef Cheek Cannelloni 13-Jul-2012

July 13, 2012 10:44 pm

Award winning executive chef and New Zealand Beef and Lamb Ambassador, Ben Batterbury recently gave a demonstration in sunny Winton, infront of a SOLD OUT and very discerning audience of Rural Women New Zealand members and friends.

RWNZ Beef + Lamb Cooking Demonstrations are taking place around New Zealand over the coming months. Click here to find out more.

Below is the recipe for just one of the fabulous dishes Ben created.

Wakanui Beef Cheek Cannelloni, Braised Lentils, Malted Parsnip Puree and Licorice

Serves approx 8
Beef Cheeks
1kg Beef cheeks (we use Wakanui grain fed)
1 Carrot
1 Onion
1 stick Celery
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves Garlic
1 ltr Chicken stock
1 Bottle Dark malty beer (approx 4-500ml)
200ml Red Wine
100g butter

Chop all the vegetables into large pieces. In a pan add half the butter and wait until it foams then add the vegetables, garlic and herbs. Sweat for five minutes then add all the liquids and simmer until ready to use. Pat the cheeks dry on a cloth and season with salt. In a pan add the other half of butter and wait until it foams then add the cheeks and brown all over then remove and place into a casserole pot, pour over the liquor and cover the pot with a lid or tin foil. Bake at 150 0c for approx 4 hrs until tender. Leave to cool in the liquor. Drain the cheeks through a colander keeping the liquor. Place the liquor into a pan and reduce until sauce consistency. Put the cheeks into a bowl (discard the veg) and squish with your hands to break up and remove any connective tissue. When the liquor is a sauce add a bit back to moisten, season and reserve. 


Cut the pasta into appox 5x6cm rectangles. Have a pan of boiling salted water and a bowl of iced water ready. Drop the pasta sheets into the boiling water for 30 seconds and then submerge straight into the ice water. Remove and pat dry with a towel. Lay out a piece of cling film and brush with oil. Lay the past onto this and then brush the top side with a little egg, spoon your cheek mix onto this and roll in the pasta into a cylinder then wrap tightly in the cling film and tie both ends. Warm through in simmering water when needed.

Parsnip puree

250g peeled chopped parsnips
50g Unsalted Butter
10g Malt Extract
Place all into a heavy bottomed pan and just cover with water and add a good pinch of salt. Boil rapidly until the water evaporates and the butter emulsifies. Place all into a blender and blend adding a little water if needed (the puree should be turning smoothly but not a soup!) season and then pass through a fine sieve.
Licorice Puree
100g licorice unsweetened (ie.Panda brands)
Place both into pan and boil, when the licorice is soft transfer to a blender adding the cooking liquor back to make a smooth paste.
Licorice Froth
250ml Beef Braising Liquor
1 tbsp of the licorice puree
500ml Milk
4g Lechithin
Place all into a tall narrow saucepan and leave for about 30 mins for the lechithin to soak. Then warm on the stove (do not boil) and froth with a stick blender. 

Braised Lentils

100g dried Puy lentils soaked overnight in water
1 carrot
1 Onion
1 Stick Celery
2 Clove Garlic
50g Butter
500ml Chicken stock
sprig of Bay and Thyme
Drain and rinse the lentils after soaking and place into a pan. Add the chicken stock and water if needed to cover. Take half the onion, 1 clove garlic and the herbs and wrap in a cloth and tie and place this into the lentils. Simmer the lentils gently until tender approx 20 mins. Leave them in the liquor to cool slightly. Finely dice all the vegetables and remaining garlic and sweat this off in a pan with the butter until tender. Drain the lentils but keep the liquor, discard the herb bag. Add the lentils to the vegetables. Reduce the cooking liquor until coating consistency and add back to the lentils, season and reserve.


5 Egg Yolks
2 Eggs
2Tbsp Olive Oil
2Tbsp Water
1 Sachet of Saffron Powder or A Pinch of Saffron
2 Pinches Salt
500g Pasta Flour
Take a bowl and half fill with ice cubes and then place another bowl on top.
Place the water and the saffron into a pan and boil until it has nearly evaporated then add the olive oil. Whisk and pour into the bowl set above the ice and whisk until emulsified. Then add the eggs and the egg yolks and whisk again. Push this through a fine sieve.
Place half of the flour into the food processor with half the salt and start it turning. Slowly add the egg mix little by little stopping the machine regularly and scraping the sides and bottom of the machine with a spatula. When the dough resembles little beads take a little of the dough and squeeze between your fingers as thin as you can, if the dough has a smooth edge but does not stick to your fingers then it is right, if it is jagged then it is too dry and requires a little more of the egg mix. When the dough is ready remove from the machine and knead until it comes together and then wrap tightly in cling film and rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Repeat with the second batch of flour.
When rolling the pasta start at the widest setting and work through the machine and repeat reducing the width of the machine each time when you get to the last setting fold the pasta back into a block and repeat. Lay the sheets in between cling film ready to use.

To Serve
Smear the parsnip puree into the middle of a plate in a circle spoon the warmed Lentils into the middle of the puree. Dot the licorice puree around. Gently remove the cannelloni from the cling film with scissors and lay this on top, garnish with a few parsnip crisps, watercress sprigs and re-blend the froth and spoon a little around. Enjoy!

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