Beef cheeks bourguignon with cauliflower and leek puree

Beef cheeks bourguignon with cauliflower and leek puree

Have You Eaten
Billy Law

Beef cheek is the facial muscle of a cow, and if you consider that a cow spends the whole day grazing, it’s no surprise that the cheek is pretty tough. In the past, beef cheek was considered a cheap cut, and it eventually became obsolete. But fashions change and the cheek has made a culinary comeback; it’s now considered quite a luxury cut of meat and occasionally can be found on the menus of fine-dining restaurants.


Quantity Ingredient
2 large beef cheeks, halved, (see note)
5 sprigs thyme
2 fresh bay leaves
500ml pedro ximenez sherry
500ml red wine
75g plain flour, for dusting
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1/2 leek, diced, white part only (see note)
1 large brown onion, diced
500ml veal or beef stock
salt and pepper
50g chilled butt‚er, cubed

Cauliflower and leek puree

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 head cauliower, cut into small florets
250ml full-cream milk
70g butt‚er, cubed
1/2 leek, thinly sliced, white part only
salt and pepper


  1. Trim any fat and sinews off the beef cheeks and put them in a large deep non-metallic bowl. Add the thyme sprigs and bay leaves, then pour the Pedro Ximenez and red wine into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 4 hours. Turn the beef every hour.
  2. Reserving the marinade, remove the beef and pat dry thoroughly. Dredge the beef with flour and shake off the excess, then set aside.
  3. In a heavy-based casserole dish, heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium–high heat, then add the beef cheeks and brown for a few minutes until lightly coloured all over. Remove from the dish and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the dish and cook the carrot, celery, leek and onion for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are caramelised and the onion is soft and translucent. Return the beef cheeks to the dish and pour in the reserved marinade and enough stock to cover the meat. Stir and scrape the base of the dish to deglaze all the caramelised tasty bits. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and cook for 4 hours, or until the cheeks are meltingly tender but still holding their shape. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, to make the purée, put the cauliflower and milk in a saucepan over low heat and cook for 20–25 minutes until softened. Add a tablespoon of the butter to a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the leek until softened.
  6. Transfer the cooked cauliflower and leek to a food processor. Add the remaining butter and process until smooth. Press the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, then set aside and keep warm. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  7. To make a jus, strain 500 ml of the braising stock through a fine sieve into a saucepan. Reduce the stock over high heat until glaze-like. Whisk the butter into the sauce a few cubes at a time, stirring until fully emulsified before adding the next cubes of butter.
  8. To serve, place a big dollop of cauliflower and leek purée on each plate, then top with a beef cheek and drizzle with the jus.


  • Beef cheeks can be hard to come by — not many butcher shops stock them and they don’t come cheap, so it’s best to go to a gourmet butcher or ask your butcher to order them in for you.
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again