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These slow-cooked Beef Cheeks are simmered in a lovely red wine sauce until they’re so soft you could eat them with a spoon! The braising liquid in this Beef Cheeks dish is full of flavor and changes into a thick, rich gravy-like sauce when pureed.

This simple recipe is perfect for an elegant dinner party or a substantial midweek supper, especially when served with creamy mashed potatoes. This dish may be made in a slow cooker, pressure cooker, or on the stove.

What are beef cheeks good for?

Beef cheeks are a cut made from the animal’s face region, near the chewing muscle…. Because it is an often utilized muscle, it provides a fantastic cut for appetizers, stews, soups, sandwiches, and major courses.

How to Make Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Red Wine Sauce
Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp olive oil , separated
  • 1.5 kg/3lb beef cheeks , (4 large or 6 small beef cheeks)
  • 1 onion (white, brown or yellow), roughly diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 celery stalk , roughly diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 carrot , roughly diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 4 garlic cloves , minced
  • 6 stems of fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 4 dried bay leaves (or 3 fresh bay leaves)
  • 1 cup (250 ml) beef stock (broth)
  • 2 cups (500 ml) red wine (full bodied eg. cabernet sauvignon or merlot)
  • 2 – 3 tsp salt , separated
  • Black pepper

Instructions

  1. Prepare the beef cheeks: cut off any large, fatty membrane. Pat dry then use 1 tsp of salt and black pepper to season the beef all over.
  2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based pot over high heat. Sear half the beef cheeks on each side until nicely browned. Remove beef cheeks onto a plate, repeat with remaining cheeks.
  3. Turn down the heat to medium high and heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 3 minutes until onion is becoming translucent.
  4. Add the celery and carrot,s sauté for a further 3 minutes.
  5. Follow directions for your chosen cooking method below.

SLOW COOKER DIRECTIONS

  • Pour the onion mixture into the slow cooker and place the beef cheeks on top.
  • Pour the wine into the pot and return to heat. Turn the heat up to high, bring to simmer and let it simmer for 1 minute (to cook out the wine a bit). Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan so it mixes in with the wine.
  • Pour the wine into the slow cooker, then all the remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).
  • Cook in the slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or High for 6 hours for 250g/8oz size beef cheeks or Low for 10 – 12 hours or High for 8 hours for 350g/12oz beef cheeks.
  • Open the slow cooker and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  • Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour.
  • Transfer liquid into saucepan, simmer on stove on medium high until the Sauce turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency – about 10 minutes.
  • Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
  • Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

PRESSURE COOKER DIRECTIONS

  • Follow the Slow Cooker directions but cook on high in your pressure cooker for 1 hour on high for small cheeks (around 250g/8oz each).

STOVETOP AND OVEN DIRECTIONS

  • Pour the wine into the pot / casserole dish (with the onion mixture) and stir to scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring wine to simmer for 1 minute.
  • Add remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later), the place lid on.
  • Stove: Simmer on medium low for 2 to 2 1/2 hours until the cheeks are very tender, turn at least once during cooking.
  • Oven: 160C/320F for 3 to 3 1/2 hours .
  • Remove the beef cheeks from sauce. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.
  • Use a handheld stick blender to puree the braising liquid into a smooth Sauce – it will change from a dark brown to a lighter brown colour.
  • Bring the Sauce to simmer over medium heat and simmer until it turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/4 to 1/3, to a gravy consistency – about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your taste.
  • Remove from heat, return beef cheeks to the Sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

TO SERVE

  • Serve beef cheeks on Paris Mash (ultimate creamy mashed potato!) or Creamy Mashed Cauliflower, drizzled with a generous amount of Sauce. Garnish with finely chopped parsley if desired.

Recipe Notes:

  1. Size – The beef cheeks I got were unusually large, around 350g/12oz each. Great man size portions. Usually beef cheeks are around 250g/8oz each and I get 6.
  2. Beef Cheeks – If you can’t find beef cheeks, substitute with any other cut of beef suitable for slow cooking. Boneless beef short ribs is ideal! Cut them into 250g/8oz pieces.
  3. Leftover beef cheeks and sauce can be kept in the freezer for 3 months.
  4. Nutrition per serving, excluding mashed potato.

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