under 30 mins
over 2 hrs
Cook this flavourful cut of meat low and slow and you’ll be rewarded with the most tender meat imaginable.
- For the beef cheeks
- 4 large beef cheeks
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 5 carrots, 4 left whole, 1 cut into chunks
- 1 bulb of garlic, cut in half
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 x 500ml/18fl oz bottle porter beer
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 150g/5½ oz butter
- 750ml/1¼ pint beef stock
- 5 star anise
- 50g/1¾oz caster sugar
- For the mash
- 1kg/2lb 4oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
- 150g/5½oz butter
- 150ml/5fl oz full-fat milk or cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- For the beef cheeks, place the cheeks in a large bowl with the onions, chopped carrot, garlic and thyme. Pour over the beer, cover and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours, but preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2.
- Lift the beef cheeks out from the vegetables, pat dry, then season with salt and pepper. Reserve the marinade.
- Heat a large casserole or ovenproof pan until hot, add the olive oil and a knob of the butter. When foaming, add the beef cheeks two at a time and fry on each side until browned. Remove and set aside.
- Return the beef to the pan with the reserved marinade and add the beef stock.
- Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid, leaving the lid slightly ajar so you have a 1cm/½in gap at the side. Cook in the oven for 4-5 hours.
- Meanwhile, put the whole carrots, star anise, 100g/3½oz of the butter, a pinch of salt and the sugar into a pan and add enough water to just cover. Set on a low heat and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the carrots are tender and glazed.
- Remove the casserole from the oven and strain the sauce into a saucepan, then place over the heat and cook until the volume of liquid has reduced and is thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon.
- Whisk in the remaining butter until the sauce is shiny. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- For the mash, place the potatoes into a pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
- Drain and return to the pan, then place over a low heat for a couple of minutes to dry the potatoes slightly.
- Meanwhile, put the butter and milk into a saucepan and simmer until the butter is melted.
- Pass the potatoes through a ricer, then add the hot butter and milk (or cream) and beat to form a very smooth mash. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.
- To serve, lift out the beef cheeks and place in shallow bowls. Spoon the mash alongside and finish with a generous ladleful of sauce.