Slow-cooked beef cheek with roast onion dressing and fried kale

Slow-cooked beef cheek with roast onion dressing and fried kale

Beef cheek slowly cooked in a rich wine sauce and served with a roast onion dressing and crispy kale.

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves 2

By Bryn WIlliams
From Saturday Kitchen


For the beef

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 beef cheeks, cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ garlic head
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 200ml/7fl oz red wine
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints chicken stock, or enough to cover
  • 1 tsp yeast extract
  • 20g/¾oz fresh horseradish, grated, to serve

For the roast onion dressing

  • 4 onions, cut in half
  • 1 whole red chilli
  • 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil plus 2 tbsp for frying
  • 1 large pickled gherkin, diced, plus 100ml/3½fl oz gherkin pickling liquid
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fried kale

  • oil, for frying
  • 25g/1oz curly kale, chopped into small pieces
  • pinch salt


  1. To make the beef, preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan/Gas 1. Heat the olive oil over high heat in an ovenproof casserole. Once hot add the beef and fry all over to seal the meat, remove from the pan and set aside for later.

  2. Add the onion and carrot to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the herbs, garlic head and peppercorns and stir. Pour in the red wine and cook until reduced by half then place the beef back in the pan. Cover with the stock, add the yeast extract, stir and bring to a simmer, then transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 5–6 hours.

  3. Remove the beef and set aside, then place the pan with the sauce in over a high heat and reduce to a sauce consistency. Add the beef back into the pan.

  4. Meanwhile, to make the dressing, preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6. Season the onion halves with salt and pepper.

  5. Heat the oil in an oven proof frying pan, once hot add the onions and place the whole red chilli on top of the onions. Roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes until soft and charred on the bottom. Allow to cool enough to touch.

  6. Roughly chop the onion and chilli and place in a bowl. Add the gherkins and pickling liquid to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper and add olive oil. Stir in the chives.

  7. To make the kale, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the kale. Fry until crisp and season with salt.

  8. To serve, place the onion dressing on a serving plate, add the beef on top with some of the reduced sauce. Finish with the fried kale and horseradish.

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