Remove any sinew from the beef cheek and cut into 2-3 large portions. The size will depend largely on the size of the cheek. Don't dice up the cheek. You want to allow a large portion to each diner.
Place the flour in a shallow plate and season well with salt and pepper. Roll each portion of cheek in the flour and set aside.
Heat 2 tbsp sunflower oil in a large ovenproof casserole, one with a tight fitting lid. Over a medium heat sear each cut of cheek on all sides. Remove from the pan into a clean plate once brown on all sides. Take care not to add too many to the pan at a time as this will only steam the meat, not brown it.
Once you have seared all the beef, add the final 1tbsp sunflower oil to the pan. Add in the braising vegetables and cook gently for 5 minutes.
Add the beef back into the pan, along with the dried mushrooms, fresh herbs, cinnamon stick, red wine and beef stock pots. Add a good crack of black pepper and stir well. Do not add any salt at this point as this will result in a salty stew when you come to reducing the cooking liquor for making the gravy.
Cover the casserole with a lid and place in the oven at 140CFan for 5 hours. During this time remove the casserole a couple of times to give it a mix and push the beef cheek down into the braising liquor.
After 5 hours remove the casserole from the oven, allow it to cool and if time permits, pop it into the fridge overnight. This really improves the flavour of the meat.
To finish the gravy
When you are ready to serve the beef cheek, bring it gently up to a low heat. Remove the portions of cheek from the pan and set aside on a plate.
Next place a sieve over a large, clean saucepan. Gently pour the gravy through the sieve, allowing the sieve to catch all the vegetables. Leave to drain for 15 minutes as you want to save as much gravy as you can. Discard the vegetables.
Place the gravy saucepan over a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook the gravy until you have reduced it by half. By this time the grave will have thickened a little. Stir through the apple or blackcurrant jelly/jam.
In a small non-stick saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat and add the flour. Stir to combine into a roux. Continue to cook the roux for 5 minutes to cook out the flour, stirring continuously to avoid burning.
Now add the flour roux to the gravy and whisk quickly to avoid lumps from forming. Once combined pass the gravy through the sieve one last time to remove any lumps that may have formed from either the roux or jam.
Taste the gravy for seasoning, adding salt and pepper. Return the beef cheek portions to the pan and heat up gently before serving.
Other than salting the flour when browning the beef, do not add any additional salt to the braising liquor. The cooking juices are reduced down after the meat has been cooked to form the basis of the gravy. If you add salt before reducing down the juices this can result in an overly salty gravy. Instead finish the gravy and then add salt and more black pepper to balance the taste.This beef cheek stew can be made a day ahead of time, this allows the meat to take on the flavours and will taste better for it.This braised dish freezes really well. Simply cook and allow to cool completely before placing in a box ready for the freezer. Remove from the freezer and allow to defrost thoroughly overnight in the fridge.