Braised ox cheeks

3 hours 15 minutes


For the marinade

  • 2 ox cheeks, 1.5kg approximately
  • 325ml of red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • peppercorns, a few
  • 1 garlic clove, squished
  • 1 red chilli, dried

For the braise

  • 50g of butter
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 300ml of beef stock, or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp of tomato purée
  • salt
  • pepper
  • oil


Put the ox cheeks in a bowl with the other marinade ingredients and add a good pinch of salt. Leave for as long as you can – ideally in the fridge for a few days, but an hour is better than nothing
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3
Remove the cheeks from the marinade and pat dry thoroughly. Heat a drop of oil (if using olive don’t use your best) in a frying pan over a strong flame and brown the cheeks thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Transfer to a large saucepan
Lower the heat, add the butter and melt, then add the vegetables and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Soften for a few minutes then add to the saucepan with the ox cheeks
Tip the marinade into the frying pan along with the stock and bring to a simmer, scraping any sticky bits off the bottom of the pan. Tip this into the saucepan, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3-4 hours until tender
Remove the cheeks from the braising liquor and rest in a bowl. Put the saucepan over a generous heat, add the tomato purée and simmer to reduce by about a half
Meanwhile shred the cheeks with a couple of forks. Return to the pan and stir through the reduced broth. Keep warm until ready to serve, or cool and refrigerate until whenever needed