less than 30 mins
over 2 hours
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By Glynn Purnell
For the ox cheek
- 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 large ox cheek
- 500ml/18fl oz red wine
- 1 litre/1¾ pints beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large thyme sprigs
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 75g/2½oz unsalted butter
For the octopus
- 700–800g/1lb 9oz–1lb 12oz octopus, cleaned
- ½ garlic bulb
- 500ml/18fl oz red wine
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the pesto
- 50g/1¾oz pine nuts, toasted
- 1 bunch basil, 10 leaves reserved (see below)
- 50g/1¾oz Parmesan
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 150ml/5fl oz olive oil
- pinch salt, plus extra if needed
- freshly ground black pepper
For the cassoulet
- 250g tin white beans, drained and rinsed
- 150g/5½oz sun-dried tomatoes, finely shredded
- 10 basil leaves, finely shredded
To make the ox cheek, preheat oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3.
Place the carrot, onion and celery in a deep, lidded roasting tin.
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the ox cheek, skin-side down, and brown. Place the ox cheek on top of the vegetables. Deglaze the saucepan with the red wine and pour over the ox cheek. Add the beef stock, bay leaf, thyme and peppercorns, then finish with the butter.
Cover the roasting tin and roast in the oven for 2–3 hours until the cheek is tender. Carefully remove the ox cheek from the cooking liquor and set aside on a plate. Strain the liquor through a sieve and pour into a saucepan. Cook until reduced by half. Cut the ox cheek into four pieces and keep warm in the cooking liquor.
To make the octopus, place the octopus and garlic in a large saucepan with the wine and 500ml/18fl oz water. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 45 minutes until the octopus is cooked and tender.
To make the pesto, add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse for 30 seconds. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if needed.
Preheat the oven to 220C/240C Fan/Gas 9. Drizzle the octopus with the olive oil and place in the oven for 2 minutes. Use a chef’s blowtorch to blister the octopus skin if you have one. Leave to cool slightly and then slice into 1cm/½in pieces, leaving the ends of the tentacles longer.
Place the beans, tomatoes and sliced octopus in a large saucepan. Add enough of the cooking liquor to just cover and place over a medium heat until well warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in the basil leaves.
Spoon half of this mixture into a large serving bowl. Place the ox cheek pieces on top and pour over the rest of the mixture. Place the pesto on top and serve immediately.