Valentines Day recipe

Recipe of The Month – Valentines Day – Starter & Main

  • Prep Time: 00:50:00
  • Cook Time: 4:00:00

Hello foodies! It’s Valentine’s Day and what better way to show your love than with delicious Moules Mariniers, as well as a yummy Beef Cheek Pie with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce! And we have the perfect recipes for you. Here at the Culinary Food Group we love using our Simply Stock as the base of our sauces and dishes. The natural stocks bring great taste and flavour to any dish. Check out the recipes and let us know if you make them – they’ll be sure to impress your Valentine!

To Start – Moules Mariniers with Crusty Garlic Bread

Serves 2
Prep time- 10 mins
Cook time- 10 mins


  • 1kg mussels
  • 20g butter
  • 2 shallots finely diced
  • 1 large clove of garlic crushed
  • 80mls white wine
  • 80ml Simply fish stock/ good quality fish stock
  • 30g cream
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 crusty white baguette
  • 100g butter
  • 1 clove garlic crushed


  1. Mix crushed garlic clove with 100g butter. Slice the baguette cutting ¾ of the way through the loaf and fill each slice with garlic butter. Wrap baguette in foil and put into oven at 180C for 10 mins.
  2. Thoroughly scrub and clean mussels in cold water before use, discarding any that are open.
  3. Heat a large pot over medium heat, add butter followed by shallots and garlic and cook for 3-4 mins until softened.
  4. Turn heat to high and add mussels and wine and cover with a lid. Cook for approximately 3-4 mins shaking the pan occasionally. The mussels are cooked once the shells open- discard any that do not open.
  5. Strain the sauce into a clean pan, turn heat on high and add fish stock and reduce by 50%.
  6. Add cream and parsley to finish and pour sauce over the mussels to serve. Serve with crusty garlic bread for dipping!

The Main – Beef Cheek & Onion Pie with Brandy Peppercorn Sauce

Serves 2
Prep time- 40 mins
Cook Time – 4hours


For the Pies: 

  • Individual pie dishes or 1 larger dish is required.
  • 500g puff pastry
  • 400g Beef Cheeks- ask your butcher to trim
  • 2 large onions- thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 400ml Simply Roast Beef Stock
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 300ml red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 egg beaten (egg wash)

For the Peppercorn Sauce:

  • 15g butter
  • 2 shallots finely diced
  • 2 tbsp green peppercorns
  • 80ml brandy
  • 80ml beef stock
  • 140 ml cream
  • 5g brown sugar
  • 20g roast beef stock
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic minced


  1. Heat oven 160C/140C fan.
  2. Cut the Beef Cheeks into large chunks, lightly coat in flour and season.
  3. Sear Cheeks in hot pan with oil until browned all over- transfer to casserole dish.
  4. Add onions to pan and soften.
  5. Add garlic, thyme, porcini mushroom and bay leaf.
  6. Add red wine and reduce by one third.
  7. Add stock and bring to the boil.
  8. Pour hot liquid into the casserole dish to cover cheeks- add some water to cover if necessary.
  9. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 3- 31/2 hours ensuring cheeks are covered in liquid. The cheeks should be very tender and come apart easily when ready.
  10. While the cheeks are cooking prepare the peppercorn sauce.
  11. Add the butter to a saucepan, sauté shallots and garlic until softened.
  12. Add the peppercorns, pepper, salt and sugar and cook for 1 minute.
  13. Add the brandy- cook for 3-4 minutes.
  14. Add the stock.
  15. Add the cream and simmer for 5 minutes until coating consistency is achieved.
  16. Season to taste.
  17. Remove the cheeks from the liquid and put the liquid back on the heat in a pot to reduce by half.
  18. Shred the cheek meat and add about half the reduced cooking liquid to the cheeks to bind the filling in a sauce but not too wet a consistency.
  19. You may prepare the meat mixture the day before if desired as the pie mix is best added to the pastry when cooled.
  20. Turn the oven up to 200C. Line the pie dishes with the puff pastry, fill with cooled filling. Use a second sheet of pastry for the lid, sealing and crimping the edges. Brush the top with some egg wash.
  21. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  22. Serve the pies with the gravy on the side.