Braised beef cheeks with red wine, cardamon and lemongrass


By Gikas Xenakis

     Gikas Xenakis belongs to the new generation of top Greek chefs. He cooks for Aleria Restaurant in Athens (


    4 veal cheeks
    250 ml of red wine
    1 onion
    1 carrot
    1 cellery stick
    1 lemongrass stick
    2 tsp of cardamom
    250 ml beef stock
    4 large potatoes
    50 gr olive oil
    500 gr of chard
    2 tsp of white balsamic vinegar


    Season the beef cheeks with salt and pepper, then lightly coat them with flour. In a pot, add a little olive oil and saute the cheeks on both sides. Once browned remove them and add the finely chopped vegetables and stir. Pour in the wine and when it has evaporated add the lemongrass and cardamon together with the cheeks. Add the stock and cover. Cook in the oven for 2 hours at 200 degrees Celsius.

    For the potatoes, once cooked in the oven at 160 degrees until tender, peel them with a fork, break them and add olive oil, salt and pepper.

    For the chard, boil them lightly and when cooked sprinkle with a little olive oil and white balsamic. Serve the beef cheeks over the potatoes and chard.

    Wine suggestion:

    Pair the cheeks with a wine expressing a ripe and complex character. Try this delicious dish with a medium body Xinomavro from Amyndaion or a Xinomavro based Goumenissa. In case you have cellared the wines they will reward you with the necessary complexity and softer tannins.