Slow cooked beef cheek with gremolata

This recipe which appears in Nourish The Cookbook, vol 2 was given to me by Justin Thompson from The Shack in Raglan.  A family favourite of his, it quickly became my go to too, so I had to share it. Justin says, “It is perfect for a comforting Sunday night dinner and can easily be doubled to cater for a larger group. It will work well with lamb shanks, lamb neck chops or any slow cooking cuts of beef.”
Serve it with Soft Polenta or with good old mash potato.

Serves 6

2 whole beef cheeks, fatty membrane removed
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup red wine
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
2 tsp tomato concentrate
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 litre beef stock, homemade or store bought
1 cup raisins
2 bay leaves


½ cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
2 tsp lemon zest

Slice the cheeks in half so you have 4 even pieces.
Rub liberally with salt and pepper, then put in a container with the garlic, red wine and thyme.
Cover and let the marinade do its thing in the fridge for 3‒24 hours.

Preheat oven to 140°C and heat the oil in a large frying pan.
Remove the meat and keep the marinade. Pat the cheeks dry with a paper towel.
Brown the beef cheek in the frying pan then put into your casserole dish.
Cook the onion in the meat juices until translucent then add the tomato concentrate and cook out for three minutes. Deglaze the pan with the balsamic vinegar and the marinade and bring to the boil. Pour into your casserole dish (make sure to use a rubber scraper to get every last drop of flavour from the pan). Add the beef stock, raisins and bay leaves.
Cover the casserole dish and put in the oven for 4 hours. Turn the cheeks every hour.
After 4 hours, uncover the cheeks and cook for a further 2 hours. Baste the cheeks regularly.

You will know when it’s cooked as it will be super tender and almost falling apart. Remove from the oven, cover and let it rest while you prepare the polenta.

To make the gremolata, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

Serve the beef cheeks with a little braising juice and sprinkle with the gremolata.

About the Author

Vicki Ravlich-Horan

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