Beef Cheek Bourguignon

Serves 4
  • 1.5kg beef cheeks, trimmed and cut in halves
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 shallots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1L red wine
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1t black peppercorns
  • 1½T olive oil
  • sea salt, coarsely ground
  • 20g plain flour
  • flat leaf parsley leaves (optional to serve)
Serve with
  • 8 pearl onions, peeled and trimmed
  • large pinch caster sugar
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • Sea salt, coarsely ground
  • Black pepper, coarsely ground
  • 200g speck, cut into chuncky strips, keeping the fat on
  • 50ml olive oil
  • 400g button mushrooms, cleaned



  1. Place onion, shallots, carrot, garlic, red wine, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns in a large bowl.  Add the beef cheeks and combine well.  Cover with plastic film and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towel.  Set aside.  Strain the marinate; keeping both the vegetables and herbs, and the liquid.
  3. Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.  When the butter begins to foam, cook the meat in batches, seasoning it as you go, for 8-10 minutes or until golden all over.  Remove from the pan, reduce the heat to low, then add reserved vegetables and herbs, and stir for 6-8 minutes.  Return the meat to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and stir over a low heat for 1 minute.  Add the reserved marinade, scraping the pan to remove any cooked-on bits, and bring to the boil.  
  4. Transfer the mixture to a crock-pot, place the lid on and cook slowly for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender, regularly skimming the surface for any impurities.
  5. To prepare additional serving items: place the pearl onions, sugar, butter and seasoning in a small saucepan.  Add enough water to come halfway up the side of the onions, then cover and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.  Cook uncovered for another 5 minutes or until all the water has evaporated and the onions are tender and lightly coloured.  Set aside.
  6. Heat a large fry pan over a medium heat.  Add the speck and cook for 6-7 minutes or until golden.  Remove from the pan and set aside.  Lastly add the olive oil to the fry pan, and when hot, add the mushrooms, seasoning them as they cook.  Toss for 5-6 minutes or until golden and tender
  7. Drain the beef cheeks and vegetables in a colander placed over a large bowl, then strain the sauce into a large saucepan.  Use a ladle to remove the fat from the surface of the sauce.  Discard the vegetables in the colander.  Add the meat, glazed onions, mushroom and speck to the sauce.  Simmer over a low heat for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened and reduced.  Assess seasoning and serve with flat leaf parsley garnish.