Briased Beef Cheek

Another fabulous dish for the slow cooker.  I usually have the slow cooker on for 6 to 8 hours.

This is one of those top restaurant dishes that you can easily do at home. Beef cheek is not cheap, you can always substitute with other cheaper cut. However, it’s worth spending a bit for the moment of indulgence. 

  • 80 ml (⅓ cup)
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 4 beef cheeks (about 350gm each), trimmed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 350 ml dark ale
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 100 gm tomato purée

 Burghul salad 

  • 150 gm coarse burghul (I used Polenta & Quinoa)
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, seeds removed, finely diced
  • 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar   

To serve:

  • micro-herbs, such as baby lamb’s lettuce or micro-cress (Optional)

Bread and anchovy sauce

  • 125 ml (½ cup)
  • chicken stock
  • 30 gm
  • day-old white crusty bread, coarsely torn
  • 3
  • anchovy fillets
  • 2 tsp
  • olive oil


1. Preheat oven to 140C. Heat half the oil in a casserole over medium heat, add onion, carrot, garlic and thyme, stir occasionally until onion is tender (8-10 minutes), transfer vegetables and thyme to a bowl and set aside. Heat remaining oil in pan, add beef cheeks and cook, turning once, until browned (3-4 minutes). Transfer to a plate and set aside. Add flour, stir occasionally until sand-coloured (1-2 minutes), add ale, wine and tomato purée, then return vegetables, thyme and beef to casserole. Add enough water to just cover, cover with foil, pierce foil with a sharp knife and braise until beef is very tender (3½-4 hours).

2. Meanwhile, for burghul salad, cook burghul in a saucepan of boiling salted water over medium-high heat until tender (2-3 minutes), drain well and spread on a tray to cool. Combine in a bowl with cucumber, oil and vinegar, season to taste and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, for bread and anchovy sauce, stir ingredients in a small saucepan over low heat until bread is very soft (2-3 minutes), remove from heat, purée with a hand-held blender and season to taste. Serve warm with beef cheeks and burghul salad scattered with micro-herbs.


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