Beef cheek with parsnip 'risotto'

  • 6
  • 60 minutes plus overnight to marinate and 3–4 hours cooking time

This beef cheek and parsnip dish is the ultimate winter comfort food. The cheek is cooked low-and-slow in red wine for hours until tender and falling apart. It's then spooned over a creamy parsnip 'risotto', made from finely diced parsnip instead of rice, making it great for those on a low-carb diet. The hefty amount of Parmesan adds a delicious umami-rich depth of flavour.

First published in 2022





Parsnip risotto

To serve



Begin by placing the beef cheeks into a container. Pour in the wine and add the herbs, spices, garlic and shallot. Leave to marinate overnight


The next day, preheat an oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4. Place a large ovenproof saucepan over a high heat and add a dash of oil. Remove the beef from the marinade and sear all over until deeply browned. Pour in the marinade and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze

  • 1 dash of vegetable oil

Add the bovril, brown sugar and beef stock and cover the pan with foil (and a lid if it has one). Place in the oven and cook for 3–4 hours or until tender and falling apart

  • 1 tbsp of bovril
  • 1 tbsp of Demerara sugar
  • 1l beef stock

Once the beef is ready, remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Pass the sauce through a sieve into a clean pan. Reduce the liquid until really thick and glossy, then whisk in the cold butter and season with salt and pepper. Set aside


To make the parsnip 'risotto' finely dice the parsnips into tiny cubes, roughly the same size as grains of rice. Place a pan over a medium heat and add the butter and (if using) the Parmesan oil. Once the butter's melted, add the shallot and garlic and gently cook over a low heat for 5 minutes until soft without colour

  • 6 parsnips, peeled and woody core removed
  • 50g of butter, or beef fat
  • 2 tbsp of Parmesan oil (optional) – Dan makes this by steeping Parmesan rinds in neutral oil for a few days
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

Add the diced parsnip, thyme and rosemary and gently cook for another 10 minutes. Add a splash of sherry vinegar, then the vegetable stock and cream and reduce by half


By now the parsnips should be tender but still with a little bite. Fold in the cream cheese, grated Parmesan and chives. Taste and season with salt and pepper. You should have a risotto-like texture that is nice and creamy


Keep the risotto warm while you gently reheat the beef cheeks in the reduced sauce. To serve, spoon the risotto into bowls and top with the beef cheek and plenty of sauce. Finish with more grated Parmesan 

First published in 2022

Having worked in kitchens since the age of twelve, Dan Kenny has developed his own playful brand of cooking, partly influenced by his time spent living in Asia. Since 2015, he’s been showcasing his food in Brighton at various iterations of his restaurant The Set.

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