- 4 ox cheeks (about 250g each), trimmed of excess fat and sinew
- 500ml bottle dark ale
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, roughly chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, broken into cloves, peeled
- a few thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 1l chicken stock
For the mustard butter
- 80g butter, softened at room temperature
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 2 shallots, very finely diced
- cooked pearl barley
- steamed greens
Two-and-a-half days before you plan to eat, put the cheeks in a bowl and pour over the ale. Cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hrs.
Up to two days ahead, make the mustard butter by beating the ingredients, together with 3/4 tsp salt, using a wooden spoon in a bowl. Tip onto a sheet of baking parchment or cling film, wrap and roll up to form a sausage shape, then chill in the fridge until needed.
Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Remove the cheeks from the beer, pat dry on kitchen paper and season, reserving the beer. Heat the oil in a wide flameproof casserole dish or heavy-based pan. Sear the cheeks on all sides, then set aside. Add the vegetables and garlic to the hot dish and cook for 10 mins until browned.
Return the cheeks to the dish with the ale, stock and herbs. Gently bring to the boil, skimming off any impurities as you go. Cover with a tight-fitting lid (or foil) and braise in the oven for 4 hrs until the meat is very tender.
Once cooked, leave the beef to rest in the cooking liquid until cool – this will give you a much fuller flavour. Then cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
The following day, remove the cheeks from the fridge. Put the casserole dish over a medium heat to warm though before lifting the cheeks into a bowl and passing the liquor through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Bubble on the hob for 15-20 mins until reduced to a rich sauce. Season and return the cheeks to the sauce to warm through. Remove the cheeks again, slice and divide between plates, spooning over some of the sauce. Put a slice of the mustard butter on top of each cheek to melt and serve with pearl barley and steamed greens.