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oc cheek

Serves 6

Preparation time – 15 mins

Cooking Time – 5 hr 30 mins


  • 50g butter
  • 3 ox cheeks, trimmed of gristle and halved
  • 2 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with 1 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 150g pancetta, cut into Lardons
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 star anise
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400 ml good red wine
  • 100 ml Port
  • 400 ml beef stock


1. Preheat the oven to 150°C/fan 130°C/gas 2. In a flameproof casserole that will fit the wine and ox cheeks snugly, melt the butter over a medium heat.
2. Roll the ox cheeks in the seasoned flour, then pat off any excess. When the butter sizzles, add the meat. Cook, turning until well browned all over (you may need to do this in batches). Remove the meat and set aside.
3. Add the lardons and fry until lightly coloured. Add the onions and the bay leaves and cook for 6-8 minutes until the onions are just soft. Stir in the garlic, then the tomato purée. Stir occasionally until the purée starts to catch the bottom of the pan, then cook for 3 minutes more.
4. Add the wine, port and beef stock, then return the meat to the casserole. Bring the stew to barely a simmer, then cover and put to the oven. Cook for 5 hours or until the cheeks are tender when prodded with a cutlery knife. Turn the cheeks occasionally during the cooking time.
5. Season to taste, then serve with mash or dauphinoise and seasonal veg.