Extra virgin olive oil
400ml beef or meat stock
6 dried figs
2 cloves of garlic
To garnish: pine nuts and lemon thyme leaves
Personally, I like to cut the cheeks into large chunks and not cook them whole, but that’s just my taste. Season with salt and pepper and coat with flour. Drizzle plenty of extra virgin olive oil into a pan and when hot, seal the meat until browned. Then remove, set aside and start preparing the sofrito sauce.
For the sofrito, add the brunoised onions. They don’t have to be cut very finely, as they will ‘melt’ later on with the two chopped tomatoes. Remember to peel the tomatoes if you don’t want to find any bits of skin. Poach everything slowly over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. A good sofrito confit is the base of all stews.
Next, add the port and cook for a few minutes so that the alcohol evaporates, then add the meat, stock and coarsely chopped dried figs, along with the garlic.
Cover and leave to cook for 45 minutes over a low heat, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t stick. Later, remove the lid and cook over a very low heat for a further 20 minutes so that it reduces.
Serve with some fresh figs and kumquats. Garnish the plates with a sprinkle of pine nuts and lemon thyme.