Winter is the perfect time to cosy up with a comforting and hearty meal that warms your soul. Slow-cooked beef cheeks take centre stage when it comes to satisfying winter dishes. This melt-in-your-mouth cut of meat is packed with flavour and becomes tender and succulent when cooked low and slow.
In this article, we’ll explore the wonders of this stunning cut and introduce you to three irresistible beef cheeks recipes that will elevate your winter dining experience.
All About Beef Cheeks
Beef cheeks are a hidden gem in the culinary world. Derived from the facial muscles of the animal, beef cheeks are an incredibly tender and flavourful cut that is well suited for slow cooking. With their rich marbling and collagen content, beef cheeks are perfect for braising or stewing, allowing the meat to become fork-tender while infusing it with deep flavours.
What Is the Best Way to Cook Beef Cheeks?
When it comes to cooking beef cheeks, a slow and gentle approach is key. You can even pop your beef cheeks in the slow cooker. This cut of meat requires a method that allows the tough connective tissues to break down and transform into a tender, tasty delight.
To ensure your beef cheeks reach their full potential, here are some tips for cooking them to perfection.
- Sear for Flavour: Before braising, take the time to sear the beef cheeks in a hot pan or Dutch oven. This step creates a caramelised crust on the meat, adding depth and complexity to the final dish. Searing also helps lock in the juices and moisten the meat during the slow cooking process.
- Choose the Right Liquid: The choice of liquid for braising greatly influences the dish’s flavour profile. Red wine, beef broth, and aromatic vegetables like onions, carrots, and celery are commonly used to create a rich and savoury braising liquid. The liquid should be enough to partially submerge the cheeks without completely covering them.
- Low and Slow Cooking: Once you’ve seared the beef cheeks and added the braising liquid, cover the pot with a lid and allow the meat to simmer over low heat. This slow and gentle cooking method is essential to achieving tender, melt-in-your-mouth beef cheeks.
- Enhance the Flavour: While beef cheeks are flavourful on their own, you can enhance their taste by adding aromatic herbs and spices to the braising liquid. Ingredients like bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, garlic, and black peppercorns infuse the meat with additional layers of flavour, making your dish even more tantalising.
- Rest and Serve: Once the beef cheeks are fork-tender and infused with the flavours of the braising liquid, remove them from the pot and allow them to rest for a few minutes. This resting period allows the meat to reabsorb the juices, ensuring a moist and succulent final result. Slice or shred the beef cheeks and serve them alongside the rich braising liquid.
Recipe 1: Braised Beef Cheeks with Chickpeas
Our first recipe showcases the delectable combination of braised beef cheeks and wholesome chickpeas. The natural creaminess and nutty flavour of chickpeas complement the meat beautifully.
Chickpeas are not only delicious but also packed with health benefits. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein, dietary fibre, and essential minerals. This recipe is a hearty and nutritious option that will keep you satisfied during those chilly winter evenings.
Braised Beef Cheeks With Chick Peas
With time, these beef cheeks will result in a fall apart texture that is perfect on a cold winters’ night.
- Preparation: 10 min
- Cooking: 3 h 25 min
- Ready in: 3 h 35 min
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place a large casserole over a moderately high heat. Brown the beef cheeks in the oil for 3 minutes on each side or until well coloured all over. Transfer the cheeks to a plate.
- Add the onion and carrot to the casserole and cook for a minute or until lightly coloured. Place the cheeks back in the casserole with the bay leaves, sherry and stock and bring to the boil.
- Cover and cook in the oven for 2 -2 ½ hours or until very tender. Remove, add the chick peas and place over a moderately high heat. Cook for 5 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a flat-leaf parsley salad.
Recipe 2: Orange Braised Beef Cheeks
Our orange braised beef cheeks recipe is a must-try for a burst of vibrant flavours. The citrusy tang of oranges adds a refreshing twist to the dish, perfectly complementing the meat’s richness. By using both orange juice and zest, you enliven the flavours and create a truly memorable culinary experience.
We pair the succulent beef cheeks with seasonal Brussels sprouts to enhance the meal further. These small cruciferous vegetables not only add a touch of vibrant green to your plate but also provide an array of health benefits. Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamin C, vitamin K, and dietary fibre, making them a nourishing and delicious side.
Orange Braised Beef Cheeks
- Preparation: 20 min
- Cooking: 2 h 30 min
- Ready in: 2 h 50 min
- 4 x 200 g Beef cheeks (sinew trimmed, halved)
- 1 ½ tbsp Plain flour
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 large Red onion (thinly sliced)
- 3 cloves Garlic (crushed)
- 1 large Carrot (peeled, chopped)
- 1 stalk Celery (chopped)
- 1 Orange (juiced and zested + segments of 1 orange, to serve)
- ¾ cup Red wine
- 2 cups (500ml) Beef stock
- 1 Vanilla bean (split, seeds scraped)
- 2 tbsp Brown sugar
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Thyme sprigs
- 300 g Brussels sprouts (halved)
- 200 g Green beans (trimmed, halved)
- Cooked brown rice and Greek yoghurt (to serve)
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (160º fan-forced). Pat cheeks dry with paper towel and place in a large snap lock bag. Add flour, season and toss to coat.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof casserole dish over medium heat. Cook beef for 3 to 4 minutes, in batches, or until lightly browned. Set cheeks aside on a plate. Add 1 tbsp oil to same dish cook the onion, 2 garlic cloves, carrot and celery for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the orange juice and zest, wine, stock, vanilla bean and seeds, sugar, bay leaves and thyme. Bring to the boil and return beef to the dish. Remove from heat, cover surface with a circle of baking paper and cover with a lid or foil.
- Cook in the oven for 2 hours or until tender. Remove the cheeks from the sauce and reduce sauce over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Season to taste, remove bay leaves and thyme stalks and return beef to the dish. Stir through orange segments.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add brussels sprouts and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until lightly charred. Add beans and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes. Season.
- Serve beef cheeks with vegetables, brown rice and Greek yoghurt, if desired.
Recipe 3: Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks
No discussion about slow-cooked beef cheeks would be complete without mentioning the classic combination of red wine and beef. Our red wine braised beef cheeks recipe is a celebration of this timeless pairing. The robust flavours of the red wine infuse the meat, creating a luxurious and velvety sauce.
To make this dish even more special, opt for grass-fed beef cheeks. Grass-fed beef comes from animals raised on a natural diet, which results in leaner and more flavourful meat. Ethically produced beef, such as grass-fed and paddock-to-plate options, benefits the environment and offers a higher-quality, more tender, and more nutritious final product.
Red Wine Braised Beef Cheeks
Perfect for a cold night in during the week. You can prepare this in advance so it is ready for you when you get home from work.
- Preparation: 15 min
- Cooking: 2 h 40 min
- Ready in: 2 h 55 min
- Preheat the oven to 170ºC. Place a casserole over a moderately high heat and cook the beef cheeks in the oil for 3 minutes on each side or until nicely coloured. Transfer to a plate.
- Add the onion, celery, carrot and garlic to the pan and cook for a minute or until lightly coloured.
- Add the beef cheeks along with the thyme, wine and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and place in the oven for 2-2 ½ hours or until the cheeks are very tender.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve with cauliflower puree and a kale salad.
Discover the Delights of Slow-Cooked Beef Cheeks
As winter settles in, treat yourself and your loved ones to the rich, tasty, and comforting flavours of slow-cooked beef cheeks. These recipes are just the beginning of the culinary journey that awaits you.
If you’re eager to embark on this mouthwatering adventure, we invite you to shop for grass-fed beef cheeks from Provenir. Our premium selection of ethically produced beef will be delivered straight to your doorstep. And don’t forget to explore our family range for quick and easy dinner options.
Embrace the warmth and deliciousness of slow-cooked beef cheeks this winter season.