Maas beef cheeks, chakalaka and avo waffles

This recipe is quite long so I’ll try keep my usual pre-recipe mini lecture short and sweet. Beef cheeks are awesome but as with all cuts of meat that are hardworking, they need slow love and a long time in the pot or oven. Maas is soured and cultured milk, basically the same as buttermilk. Due to the acidity in the maas the meat cooks a bit faster and it adds some creaminess to the final product…oh, and it’s proudly South African.

This is another recipe I developed for SABMiller to pair with their Carver’s Weiss craft beer. Try it. It’s awesome.


For the Beef Cheeks:

4 Beef Cheeks (about 1kg)
2 chopped onions
1 large carrot
1 spoon chopped garlic
2 pinches of thyme
4 pinches of rosemary
5 star anise pods
4 cloves
3 Bay leaves
50g sticky treacle sugar
100g cake flour
500ml water

500ml Maas/ Amasi
Coarse sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
100g butter (not margarine)
750ml liquid beef stock


1. Place the beef, garlic, bay leaves, cloves, star anise, thyme, rosemary, chopped carrot, onion, water and maas in a bowl or container. Seal and refrigerate for 24 hours.
2. Preheat your oven to 180°C
3. Mix the flour with some salt and pepper and place it spread out on a tray or in a large bowl.
4. Remove the beef cheeks from the marinate and pat them dry with paper towel and then drag them through the seasoned flour until coated. Shake to remove any excess flour. Set the marinade aside (do not throw it away!)
5. Heat a large, thick based casserole dish or deep oven proof pan on the stove, add the butter and oil. Fry the beef cheeks two at a time in the pan until brown. Remove, set aside.
6. Pour the marinade you set aside earlier on into the hot pan and add your beef stock. Allow to simmer, add your cheeks and cover with a lid. Keep the lid slightly ajar and tilted so as to allow air to escape.
7. Place the pan in the oven (or in a casserole dish in the oven) and cook for 4-5 hours. Check on it every hour to make sure the liquid has not evaporated too much. If it has, add some water.
8. Remove the dish from the oven and using a slotted spoon, carefully lift the cheeks out of the dish. They may fall apart, be careful.
9. Strain the left over sauce from the casserole dish with a sieve and pour into a clean pan. Add the sugar. Place on the stove, heat at medium and allow to reduce till thick. Whisk in some butter to give it shine. Season and pour over the braised cheeks.


For the chakalaka:

125ml olive oil
2 red onions, finely chopped
4 large Roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper
1 green pepper
1 tin red kidney beans
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in thick sticks (brunoise)
1 cup raw sweet corn kernels
2 teaspoons fine chopped red chillies
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon good quality masala
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander spice
Salt and pepper (to taste)

1. Heat a large frying pan and place the butter in it, once the butter has melted add the onions and saute them until they become translucent
2. Add all the other ingredients except the baked beans and cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes before adding the baked beans.
3. Stir occasionally and cook for a further 15 minutes until thick but still moist.


For the Waffles:


2 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 heaped tablespoon sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 cup butter, melted
4 cups milk

1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites and whip the egg whites until stiff.
2. In a separate bowl mix all the dry ingredients together
3. Mix the egg yolks, milk and melted butter together until well combined and then fold the flour into the wet ingredients. Whisk rapidly until all lumps are gone. If still lumpy, strain the mixture though a wire sieve.
4. Fold the whipped egg whites into the mixture now. Use the figure of 8 folding method as you don’t want to knock the air out the egg whites. Once well combined allow the mixture to rest for about 15 to 30 minutes before using it in your waffle pan.


Assemble your dish by placing your beef cheeks on the waffle followed by your avocado and watercress. Serve the chakalaka on the side with you meal. Share with friends!

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