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RECIPE: Graeme Mclaughlin’s Braised Beef Cheek




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 × 250 g wagyu beef cheeks, sinew removed
  • 200 g mirepoix
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  • 2 litres red wine
  • 1Lt chicken stock
  • peel of 1 orange
  • 50 ml brandy
  • 1 × 400 g bunch baby carrots, peeled and green tops – trimmed to 5 mm
  • 8 baby turnips, peeled and tops trimmed
  • 100 g baby leeks, white part only
  • 100 g pencil fennel or 2 bulbs baby fennel,
  • trimmed and sliced
  • fine salt
  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 200 g speck, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • 200 g button mushrooms, stalks removed
  • 30 g croûtons
  • finely sliced flat-leaf parsley leaves, to garnish



Heat the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. When hot,

add the beef cheeks and seal for 4 minutes on each side

or until brown all over. Transfer to a casserole dish and

add the mirepoix and thyme.


Bring the wine to the boil in a large saucepan, then pour

into the casserole dish over the beef cheeks and mirepoix.

Leave to cool. Cover the casserole with the lid and place

in the fridge to marinate for 12 hours.


The next day, preheat the oven to 160°C (fan-forced).

Transfer the casserole dish to the oven and cook the beef

cheeks for 4 hours. Add the orange peel and brandy and

cook for a further 2 hours (the beef cheeks should be

soft). Set aside 200 ml of the cooking liquid. Rest the beef

at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.


While the beef cheeks are resting, place the carrots,

turnips, leeks and fennel in separate saucepans and add

enough cold water to just cover. Add a pinch of salt and

25 g of butter to each pan. Bring to the boil, then reduce

the heat and simmer until the vegetables are just soft.

Drain and set the vegetables aside to cool.


Bring the reserved cooking liquid to the boil in a saucepan.

Boil for 5 minutes, then skim the top to remove any excess

fat. Add the speck and mushrooms and bring to the boil,

then reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the

carrots, turnips, leeks and fennel and simmer for a further

2 minutes. Strain the liquid into a separate small saucepan

and set the speck and vegetables aside. Add the remaining

butter to the liquid and bring to the boil, stirring. Strain

the sauce through a fine chinois or sieve.

and pour over the sauce. Arrange the speck and vegetables

around each plate. Sprinkle over parsley.

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