Simon Hulstone’s culinary career set off to a flying start. As a young, budding chef, Simon had several World Junior titles to his name and until 2011, he was the only British chef to win gold in the World Skills Awards.
In 2003, Simon was awarded the Roux scholarship for young chefs and went on to win the National Chef of the Year award in 2008.
Since heading up the team at The Elephant, Simon has added another award to his already well-decorated chefs toque: a prestigious Michelin star which he was awarded, and still maintains today, in 2006.
Here he shares his fantastic recipe for soy braised beef cheek with grilled broccoli and heritage carrots.
4 375g beef cheek, excess fat removed
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
4 celery sticks, washed and roughly chopped
1 leek, washed and roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 bay leaf
1 spring of thyme
750ml red wine
1.2 litres of hot veal stock
50ml soy Sauce
1 tbsp. tomato puree
2 heads of broccoli
8 heritage carrots of different colours
1 tbsp sugar
Season the beef cheeks and preheat your oven to 140C.
In a large frying pan on a high heat, add vegetable oil and seal the cheek well, getting a good colour all over (don’t scorch or burn them).
In a deep gastro pan, put all the meat in, making sure that there is some room around them. Next colour all the vegetables and add to the beef cheek.
Deglaze the frying pan with the red wine and Madeira and add this with the herbs and peppercorns to the beef cheek. Cover with the boiling veal stock and soy sauce, cover with lid and place in the oven for up to six hours. Check the liquid after the first two hours and make sure the cheeks are still covered. If not, top up with boiling water. Keep checking every hour thereafter until very tender.
As soon as they are tender, remove from the liquid and allow to cool for 15 mins. In the meantime, pass the stock through a fine sieve and reduce in a clean pan on a medium heat, making sure you skim regularly and take it down until a nice shiny sticky consistency. You want it sticky on the lips and a rich meaty flavour. Once at this stage pass through a fine chinoise and check the seasoning.
Peel and clean the carrots, cook in enough water just to cover with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt. Cook until tender and glazed in the butter. Set aside.
Slice the broccoli from stem to floret about 5mm thick, place on a grill tray with a little oil and grill until cooked, moving around to show the bar marks. Set aside.
To serve, reheat the cheek in the sauce and keep spooning sauce over to give a deep shine, place onto plate and present the carrots and broccoli around, finish with a little of the sauce and some red cabbage shoots.