Beef cheek braised in Port wine (Guanciale di manzo al porto rosso)
“Guanciale di manzo al porto rosso” (in English, “Beef cheek braised in Port wine”) is uncommon, but delicious, red meat second course. It blends the savour of beef cheek with the sweetish flavours of Port wine in an unusual sweet-and-sour dish.
Beef cheek is not easy to cook, as it is one of the toughest cuts of meat, and only real cooking virtuosos are able to make something good of it. The trick is slow cooking, which is able to turn any beef cheek into a tender, melting-on-the-palate food.
Spicing is also very important. Beef cheek absorbs flavours very well; this is the reason why herbs, pepper, sliced onions, diced carrots and celery are added to the red wine where the cheek is going to be braised. In this way, the meat gets flavoured. The gravy that results from the braising of the meat is very tasty. It is collected from the pan and then poured on the top of the beef cheek right just before serving it.
Coming to wine pairing, a strong red still wine with full-body like our Montelpulciano is a good choice for this tasty meat dish.