Braised beef in honey & soy

Braised beef in honey & soy

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(5 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 4 hrs

Skill level

Moderately easy


Serves 6

This sticky braise is a great way to feed a table full of people, and you can make it ahead for extra ease too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ kg braising beef, preferably 2 large beef cheeks, trimmed and halved
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • small bunch thyme
  • 5 coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 50ml sherry vinegar
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 200ml Madeira
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 800ml chicken stock

For the bok choi

  • 3 heads bok choi, quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • small piece ginger
  • 100ml chicken stock

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  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole or sauté pan, then spend a good 10 mins browning the meat well on all sides.
  2. Scatter the vegetables, thyme, coriander seeds and cloves in amongst the meat and continue to cook over a high heat for 10 mins until browned.
  3. Pour over the Sherry vinegar, soy sauce and Madeira, and drizzle over the honey. Stir everything together, then reduce over a high heat until it’s sticky and syrupy and the meat is coated really well. Stir in the tomato purée.
  4. Pour over the stock and bring to the simmer. Stir, then taste and lightly season with salt accordingly (it may not need any as the soy is already salty). Cover the pan and place in the oven for 2½-3 hrs, stirring once or twice, until the meat is really tender. Remove the meat to another pan or container. Boil the sauce for 10 mins until sticky, then strain it over the meat.
  5. About 20 mins before serving, drizzle the bok choi with half the oil and the soy sauce and dust with the icing sugar. Grate over a little of the ginger, then toss well until completely coated.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, add the bok choi and cook until the sugar coating starts to caramelise. Pour in the stock and simmer for 5 mins until tender. Reheat the mash and the beef. You are now ready to serve.
  7. Lift the meat out of the sauce and carve into thick slices. Place a large spoonful of mash on the side of each plate. Lay a few slices of meat on the mash. Sit two bok choi quarters on the other side of the plate and spoon over the sauce.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2010

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vandadefreitas's picture

Made this last year for a 'come dine with me' dinner party and it was fantastic. Did one beef cheek per 2 people and had to order them in specially from my butcher who trimmed them for me. Think i was the first ever person to order them. Had some left over which the family devoured the following day and they were even better. Didn't like the bok choi so would subsitute for something else next time. Making it again next week for another dinner party as it was such a winner.

aislingfood's picture

Cooked this on Saturday night for a dinner party for friends, and we all adored it! Made two slight changes, had no cloves or coriander seeds so I popped in a cinnamon stick but then I found cloves later & popped in 2. I cooked it in the oven at 140 degrees for almost 5 hours.I did find it tough enough to trim the cheeks even though my knives are extremely sharp.
The meat literally melted and the sauce was really untuous with great depth of flavour. Served it with a horseradish mash, buttered Savoy cabbage & French beans, & spicy crab cakes with corn relish to start. A fab saturday night dinner!

annahorvath's picture
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Outstanding!! Made it with venison and turned out to be a real treat! Thanks!

sjwatson's picture
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happyhour's picture

Absolutely delicious, but get your butcher to trim the cheeks for you as it's a tough job unless you've very sharp knives.

Fabulous do ahead dinner party dish though

LuluLolly's picture
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Outstanding!! Everyone must try this recipe at least once. I just can't fault it. The only change I made was to leave the sauce chunky - more stew like. Superb!

annemia's picture
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Made it the day before we planned to eat it, almost sorry I couldn't eat it straight out of the oven. But when we tasted it the day after, we both loved it. Definitely one for a party or if made for two: to freeze some for a midweek meal. Lovely deep flavour. The mash I made with chives instead of spring onions and was also quite nice.