Slow Cooked Beer Braised Beef Cheek Recipe

This recipe will teach you how to make beautiful caramelised onion croquettes, delicious, buttery mashed potatoes and a little bit about cooking ox cheek! If you’re looking for a beautiful braised beef dish that doesn’t require ox cheek you might want to check out this gorgeous beef and ale casserole.

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This is one of my very favourite dishes. It’s certainly amongst the tastiest of the dishes I have cooked. I was originally inspired by the winning main course in the final of this year’s Masterchef. I made a few tweaks of my own that were designed to allow it to stand alone as a main course. The result, in my opinion, was absolutely beautiful. I have, however, since decided to omit the onion rings. They are an unnecessary addition to a dish that already has everything you need.


About this dish

This dish really is all about the braised beef cheek. There’s nothing like braised ox cheek. It might well be the perfect piece of meat. When cooked properly the meat slides apart strand by strand and the collagen melts like sticky jus. It absolutely booms big, beefy flavour and can stand up to all manner of wonderful, potent ingredients.

Here, we will combine it with beef, more beef and caramelised onion. The beef reduction is everything you’ve ever loved about beef. Except we’ve compressed and refined it into a thick, sticky sauce you can damn near dip into. The mash is perfectly cooked and crammed full of wonderful bone marrow. The crispy oats are cooked in rich, warming beef fat and the carrots are sweetened to help with all that richness.

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Beer braised beef cheek

Slow Cooked Beer Braised Beef Cheek Recipe

This recipe will teach you how to make beautiful caramelised onion croquettes, delicious, buttery mashed potatoes and a little bit about cooking ox cheek!
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Main Course
Servings 2


  • 2 Ox Cheeks
  • 4 Sticks Celery
  • 6 Carrots
  • 4 Onions
  • Salt
  • Pappercorns
  • Bay Leaf
  • Thyme
  • 1 Can or Bottle of Ale or Lager
  • Porridge Oats
  • 2 Eggs
  • Flour
  • Milk
  • Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Honey
  • 5 Large Meaty Beef Bones
  • 3 Large Potatoes
  • Butter


  • Jus
  • Heat the oven to 220c and place the bones in. You’ll want to make sure the ones you get have a good covering of meat and a good bit of marrow.
  • Cook them for 30 – 45 minutes or more if you think you can get away with it and then take them out, carefully, and allow them to cool a little before removing the marrow and setting aside from later.
  • In the biggest pan you have, submerge the bones in water and gradually reduce at a gentle simmer.
  • Roughly cut a few vegetables and throw them in as well, ideally a couple of carrots, an onion and a couple of sticks of celery.
  • You can also add peppercorns and a bay leaf if you like.
  • As the stock reduces, skim the scum that rises to the top. These are damaged proteins that threaten the clarity of your eventual sauce. They’re also why you’ve got to avoid the temptation to increase the temperature to bring it to a rolling boil. Whilst it will increase the speed at which your stock and eventual sauce reduce, it will also give it a cloudy appearance, although this is only a problem if you deem it one. This process can take a very long time, but it doesn’t have to. I tend to allow stocks to simply sit and do their thing over the cause of a whole day or so.
  • Once the liquid has substantially reduced down, strain it into another pan and continue to reduce until it gets thick and sticky. You’ll know when it’s ready to use. Test for seasoning at this point and set aside to reheat when it’s time to plate.
  • Ox Cheeks
  • First thing’s first, check the ox cheeks for any big areas of fat and sinew. There’s usually a thick layer on the one side that’s worth removing at least in part, but you don’t want to go crazy. The way this meat is going to be cooked, any fat or connective tissue is going to turn into gorgeous, melt-in-your-mouth, stickiness that can’t quite be described. You don’t want huge chunks of it, but the bits that run through the meat or little specks on the outside are going to be perfectly fine and delightfully delicious.
  • Give the ox cheeks a good season and drop them into a red hot pan with some oil. Get a decent sear all over and then set them aside.
  • You now want to finely chop a couple more carrots, a peeled onion and another couple of sticks of celery. Give them a few minutes in a pan on a gentle heat with some oil and very light seasoning, then transfer them to whatever vessel you’re going to cook the meat in. I tend to use a slow cooker, but a large pan on a very low heat would also suffice. This could also be done in the oven, but I would not want to suggest temperatures or times at this stage.
  • Now, add the meat itself and pour the beer over the top. Add some water or stock if needs be to make sure everything is suitably covered. This is also the time for any herbs or spices you might want to add. I use a bay leaf, a good sprig of thyme and a few peppercorns.
  • Make sure the lid is on, keep the temperature really nice and low and let the meat cook for as long as it takes to soften. You want it one step away from falling apart at the touch of a fork. That’s when you know you’re ready to serve. Realistically, you’re looking at about 4 – 6 hours.
  • (Optional) Strain off the liquid and set aside for another day, I don’t like to use it with this particular meal because I adore the simplicity of the jus with the other very complex, rich components, but it’s a perfectly good sauce to use for another, more subtle meal.
  • Bone Marrow Mash
  • Peel and chop the potatoes, then boil them in water at a medium high heat until you can break them down with a fork. You don’t want the pieces too small or they’ll take on too much water, but a little bit isn’t going to do any harm.
  • Drain them off and add the bone marrow you set aside earlier.
  • Use your judgement as to how much. If you feel you need more fat because, for example, your bones weren’t particularly marrowy, add a little butter. Mash everything together and season with salt and pepper.
  • Caramelised Onion Croquettes
  • Slice a couple of onions and cook them in a pan with a really good whack of butter on low – medium heat. This can take up to half an hour or so to really caramelise them and bring out that sweetness. Season with salt and, if you like, emphasise that sweetness with a little caster sugar.
  • Add a little flour and stir in, increasing the heat to medium.
  • Fry that flour off for a few minutes and add a tiny splash of milk. Barely enough to add any volume, but enough to create a thick sauce that coats the onions.
  • Keep on stirring until it thickens and adjust the seasoning if necessary, adding a little pepper if you like.
  • Place in a fridge to cool, but don’t allow it to set.
  • After it’s cooled enough that you can mould it into balls, do so.
  • Use the croquette in the picture as a reference.
  • Next, set up three bowls, one containing flour, another egg and the last one oats.
  • Season the oats with fine salt and combine.
  • Roll each of the croquettes in the flour, then dip into egg and allow any excess to drip back into the bowl.
  • Finally, roll them in the oat mix.
  • Drop the croquettes into a fryer at about 180c and cook until golden brown.
  • (Optional) You can also fry some of the oats in any leftover bone marrow if you’d like and use them to garnish the potato.
  • Roast Carrots
  • Pre-heat an oven to 180c, then peel and halve the two remaining carrots, brush them with oil and honey and season with salt.
  • Scatter some thyme over the top if you have any to spare, Cook them in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, then serve.
Keyword braised beef cheek, braised ox cheek, slow cooked beef cheek, slow cooked ox cheek

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