This is a complex beef dish from the acclaimed Luke Holder which will require a lot of attention and time, and specialist equipment - it will, however, blow the socks off any dinner party guests you serve it to

For the beef cheeks, heat the oven to 140ºC/Gas mark 1
Seal the beef cheeks in a hot pan with a little oil until browned. Remove the cheeks from pan. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, and boil until the liquid is reduced by half
In a separate pan, sweat of all the diced vegetables, garlic, thyme and bay in a little oil
Mix the vegetables with the reduced red wine, tomato purée, star anise and chicken stock
Put in an ovenproof pan and add the beef cheeks
Cover with a lid then braise in the oven for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature
For the parsnips, vac-pac the parsnips with the cream and milk. Whizz to a purée in a blender. Season then pass through a sieve and chill
Steam at 100ºC for 25 minutes then blend in a blender for 6 minutes
For the snails, heat the oven to 140ºC/Gas mark 1
Heat the oil and sweat the vegetables and herbs until golden brown. Add the Madeira and reduce until syrupy
Transfer to an ovenproof dish, add the purged snails and braise for 3 hours 30 minutes - 4 hours 30 minutes until tender
To finish, heat the butter until foaming. Add the garlic and parsley then add the drained snails and heat through
For the wild garlic crust, blanch the wild garlic by dropping it into boiling seasoned water for 4 minutes. Drain, cool and chill
Put the wild garlic into a freezer container and freeze. When it starts to harden, transfer it to a food processor and whizzing, before mixing with butter and breadcrumbs
Roll out the crust out between 2 sheets of parchment paper then freeze again. Cut, once frozen, into 4cm square pieces
For the beef, cut the 500g piece of fillet into 6 pieces, approximately 85g each. Season with salt
Heat the oven to 200ºC/Gas mark 6. Sear the beef fillet in the oil quickly all over in a hot pan then transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes for rare meat
Roast the parsnip in the moderately hot oil, add the butter and allow to foam
Turn the heat down and baste the foaming butter over the parsnips continuously for 6-8 minutes until cooked all the way through
To plate, reheat the cheek through in the red wine gravy and place a piece of the wild garlic crust over the top before glazing under the grill
Reheat the parsnip purée and check for seasoning
Place a spoonful of parsnip purée to the left of the plate and the rested fillet on the opposing side. Cut the top end off the parsnips and stand one in the centre of the parsnip purée
Place the now glazed beef cheek on top of the fillet and dress the crust with the braised snail and snail shells
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Wine Matching

Find out why we suggest matching this Beef cheek recipe with a medium and round red wine, a full bodied red wine, or a spicy and rich red wine


Beef cheek

Beef fillet


Parsnip purée

  • 600g of parsnip, peeled and diced
  • 125ml of semi skimmed milk
  • 250ml of double cream

Whole roast parsnips

  • 6 parsnips
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil
  • 25g of butter

Wild garlic crust

  • 1kg of wild garlic
  • 300g of butter
  • 180g of breadcrumbs


  1. Food processor or blender
  2. Steamer
  3. Vac pac maker

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This extravagant recipe from top chef Luke Holder uses two different cuts of beef: cheek and fillet, serving the meat with snails for a dinner with a difference