Slow Cooked Ox Cheek

@cheese.and.han | Hannah
by @cheese.and.han | Hannah
6 portions
1 hr

Ox cheek has to be one of my favourite cuts! It's absolutely delicious when it's slow cooked, has a lovely fall apart texture and is pretty cheap! It's also quite low fat which is excellent as I'm on a bid to trim down a bit!

I served it here with some cheesy, parmesan polenta as a bit of a change from my normal mashed potato, and a slice of homemade Sourdough foccacia for a bit of crunch, but you could serve with mashed potato or with a few slices of a nice crusty baguette, it would be delicious.

A perfect winter warmer, let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!

Recipe details
  • 6  portions
  • Prep time: 30 Minutes Cook time: 30 Minutes Total time: 1 hr
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  • 3 large ox cheeks
  • 100 g of plain flour, seasoned with S&P
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 2 celery sticks, diced into 1 cm cubes
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 anchovies
  • 2 tbsp of tomato puree
  • 50 ml brandy (optional)
  • 250 ml red wine
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 litre good quality beef stock

Trim off any excess fat or straggly bits from the ox cheeks. Dice each cheek into around 5 even pieces, and toss lightly in the seasoned flour.
Add some oil to a heavy bottomed large pan and heat through on a moderate heat. Add the ox cheek pieces (you should hear them sizzle when added to the pan) and brown each side nicely. This imparts so much flavour to the stew, so definitely don't skip this step. Once browned on all sides, remove the cheeks from the pan and add to a slow cooker.
Next, add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook through, stirring every so often, for around 5 minutes until starting to soften. You don't want these to brown too much, so turn down the heat if they are colouring too easily. Once softened, add the garlic and the anchovies and fry for another couple of minutes.
Next add the tomato puree to the pan, stir it up and cook for another couple of minutes to cook out the paste.
Next, add the brandy to the pan to deglaze, stirring quickly, allowing it to bubble away for a minute or so. Then add the red wine, cinnamon, star anise and bay leaves and bring the mixture up to the boil. Simmer for a couple of minutes then transfer to the slow cooker with the beef, careful not to burn yourself.
Finally, top up the slow cooker with the hot beef stock and put the lid on. Leave the slow cooker on high for around 3 hours. The meat is ready once is falls apart easily when forked, but I like to keep it intact, serving up a couple of pieces per person and letting them have the joy of shredding it themselves.
Before serving, remove the majority of the liquid from the slow cooker and add to a saucepan. Reduce it down on a medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes, to allow it to thicken up to make a thick, glossy gravy. Season to taste once thickened, and serve up with the beef, carrots and some mashed potato or cheesy polenta.
@cheese.and.han | Hannah
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  • MaryAnn MaryAnn on Mar 08, 2022

    Are there any alternatives to the “Ox Cheeks”? I can’t even buy Bison meat in Boston! Plus beef is just not on many shopping lists here, with hamburger 92%, running @ $9.00lb, it’s not a really acceptable meal option for many people. Recipes using less expensive options would be a much more helpful option. I don’t mean to be petty, but a lot of people are straining to feed families due to price increases across the board. The recent dramatic increases in the price of gasoline and diesel, will Jack up prices even more. I’m forced to use minimal meats and more plant based meals, right now I have a fully stocked pantry, but even those goods will run down, to be expensive to replace. I get a monthly meat share, enough for 2 meals a week for four weeks., it’s good quality and I signed up for odd cuts. Most of these go into the slow cooker, with minimally processed ingredients. We are both on Low Sodium, lower fat diets, I cannot imagine what the lower salaried and the poor are managing with much tighter budgets. If you could help us by focusing on recipes that are possible, using commonly available options and perhaps pass the idea on to other bloggers you know, it would help us all. I’m sure further West such unusual meats are probably more available , and that is helpful. But more options would be helpful. Fortunately Spring is on the way, soon we’ll have local farmer’s markets opening, that will help save a lot. BTW it is now the Lenten Season for many folk, Catholic and Orthodox and also the

    Season of Passover. Meatless meals and economical recipes for fish meals (besides Shrimp and Lobster) would be very helpful. Thank you.

  • DarthPagan DarthPagan on Mar 19, 2022

    This looks excellent! Thanks for what looks like a really good recipe for an INEXPENSIVE cut of meat. (Even for living close to Boston, lol)

    I've never used ox cheek, but I will have to give this a try.

    • MaryAnn MaryAnn on Mar 19, 2022

      I would try Ox Cheeks if they were available. Walmart doesn’t build in city and Boston chains cater to the higher quality cuts. My request was for an alternative choice because I think the recipe sounds good. I happen to hate donuts and rarely eat sweets in general. Also dieting to lose weight doesn’t work and it’s unhealthy. I simply wish that bloggers would consider offering dishes using affordable ingredients. There are so many people barely scraping by that are stretched thin trying to supply nutritious meals to their families. You know the cost of living in city is higher. But not everybody living there is upper middle class or rich. Even now we have moved to the suburbs, food costs are still very high. Inflation and lack of supplies have been limited. I have some lamb pieces in the freezer from my last delivery from our.Meat CSA. I think I will try this recipe with that. They aren’t as tender as the usual cuts of lamb. So I think it’s worth trying. We actually signed up for the odd cuts of meat. Most of them adapt well to my Slow Cookers and Instant Pot. Soups and stews are the backbone of my meal planning in winter. You are nearer the center of the state so I imagine Walmart and Costco, are probably nearby. Even Shaw’s who used to be a relatively less expensive chain, are very high priced. We will keep the Meat CSA, and try the farmers market here or joining a produce CSA for the summer. And employ more vegetarian meals. I stock grains, beans, and cereals through Amazon. They have wide availability and usually better prices than these markets. Once prices go up the usually stay up and people learn to live with it. I’m more or less resigned that this is permanent. I really miss my community garden. And the farm where I grew up with fresh chicken, eggs, and pork. I pig was enough meat to supply plenty of food for 1 year. We had huge garden, and grew potatoes as a cash crop. That gave us the unsaleable imperfect, oddly shaped, and all the little gourmet sized potatoes that were unsaleable back then. We ate potatoes every day and only needed to buy in July and August. I grew up poor, my Father had the farm and 2 jobs, just to keep us fed and clothed. But we were happy. But it gives me an appreciation for the poor and low salaried because I know what they are going through. The only beef purchased was hamburger and chicken between egg laying and the Fall. But with hamburger at 9 bucks a lb across the chains here it’s a luxury item here and now. I really was asking for meat alternatives, and if she could reach out to her friend fellow bloggers to help by working up recipes that are based on inexpensive ingredients and stretching meats further. At least the prices might finally cause people to eat properly sized meat portions. It will be healthier in the long run. I just bought a large bag of natural unsalted beef jerky on Amazon, to use for flavoring soups. 6lbs for the price of 2 fresh bottom round pieces. The flavor gets much stronger so less is needed. I really wish Walmart had a shopping app that would deliver this far. I have heard their prices are better. So please don’t consider me a complainer. I still empathize with the low income and the poor, I try to speak up for them, when things are tough. Even food pantries get short of food and essentials because donations fall off. In 2008 we were living on 1 salary and it was much lower so we were struggling and qualified for a pantry assistance program. At 1st it was great, 3 full bags of food and some fresh vegetable, along with limited expired bakery goods. It really helped. It as the recession intensified, ore and more people were being laid off or furloughed. The pantry had to reduce shares to provide for more and more people, people with families. Shares dropped to 2 bags, no extras, because there was no one to transport them. Then down to 1 bag. We sat down and worked things up, and made the decision to become vegetarians and I signed up with 5 agencies. That way we could forego our share of food and let it go to others. They made us keep the card, in case the temp market fell through and we needed help again. I had been seeking a job for months, in a bear (bare) market. But while the pay was low but generally I land 40° temp positions and we were getting by. Over the years my husbands salary has gone up considerably so we are managing between his salary and my Social Security. But can you see that l identify with those in need. I’m not complaining, I’m doing what I can for them, trying to help them. During the Great Depression of the30’s, many cookbooks were written to help the more make healthy meals with the basic supplies they could manage to get. We need more of that right now and far fewer expensive cookbooks by celebrity chef’s using only the most expensive cuts of meat and exclusively expensive ingredients. Bloggers are ideally placed to help with this. Their income depends on introducing dishes that get pinned, downloaded or printed out. So if they could formulate 2 out of 5 economical recipes a week it would be a big help. Higher downloads equal more money. Even many of the poor have cell phones. Pinterest is a free app, accessible to anyone. I’m just trying to level the playing field for everyone.