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Braised ox cheeks & mustard butter

Braised ox cheeks

A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.2 ratingsRate
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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
    • plus marinating and overnight cooling
  • More effort
  • Serves 4

This recipe for braised ox cheeks delivers maximum flavour for minimum prep. Marinating the meat for 24 hours makes the meat extra tender and flavourful

  • Freezable
Nutrition: per serving


  • 4 ox cheeks (about 250g each), trimmed of excess fat and sinew
  • 500ml bottle dark ale
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 carrots , roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion , roughly chopped
  • 2 celery sticks , roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb , broken into cloves, peeled
  • a few thyme sprigs and rosemary sprigs
  • 1l chicken stock

For the mustard butter

  • 80g butter , softened at room temperature
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 shallots , very finely diced

To serve

  • cooked pearl barley
  • steamed greens


  • STEP 1

    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.

  • STEP 2

    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.

  • STEP 3

    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.

  • STEP 4

    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.

  • STEP 5

    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.

  • STEP 6

    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.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, January 2017

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4.5 out of 5.2 ratings

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