Slow-cooked balsamic beef cheeks

By Eleanor Ozich

This recipe is extracted from Simply Food by Eleanor Ozich, published by Penguin Random House NZ, RRP $45.00.

Text © Eleanor Ozich, 2021. Photography © Eleanor Ozich, 2021

Braised in a beautiful balsamic sauce, these slow-cooked beef cheeks are so meltingly tender you could devour them with a spoon! Eight hours of cooking ensures that the braising liquid turns into a luscious, gravy-like sauce. I encourage you to enjoy it spooned over creamy potato mash or fluffy cooked grains such as quinoa or bulgur wheat.

Serves 6–8

4 tbsp olive oil
4 beef cheeks (about 1.2kg total)
4 tbsp flour or cornflour
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
4 carrots, sliced into rounds
2 bay leaves
handful of fresh thyme sprigs, finely chopped
2 cups beef stock
¼ cup balsamic vinegar


Heat 2 tablespoons of your olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat. If your slow cooker has a sauté setting, you can use this. Dust the beef cheeks in the flour, then sear on each side for about 2 minutes or until nicely browned. Transfer the meat to your slow cooker.

Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan, then add the onion and garlic. Cook, while stirring, for a few minutes until the onion starts to become translucent.

Pile the onion and garlic into the slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients, and cook on high for 8 hours.*

You’ll know it’s ready when the meat simply falls apart.

Serve piled on top of vegetable mash or cooked grains.

* You can also cook this in a Dutch oven for 3 hours in an oven preheated to 160°C, or on the stovetop over low heat for 2½ hours.


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