Scroll Top

Bloody BRILLIANT Braised Beef Cheeks (AIP-friendly)

Bloody Brilliant Braised Beef Cheeks
Don't let the idea of cheeks turn you off from making this recipe. It is SO good!
Six years after first being published, this bloody brilliant braised beef cheeks recipe continues to be one of the most popular in my collection.
These babies are well worth trying if you are new to the wonder that is beef cheeks. 

Unfamiliar with beef cheeks? They are literally the cheeks of the animal, usually a cow. A very tough and lean cut of meat that is most often used for braising or slow cooking to produce a tender result. And when cooked properly, they are TO DIE FOR! Meltingly good. Trust me on this.

Around here, we refer to beef cheeks as ‘chief beaks’. My partner, David coined the term. And, he still gets a little bit excited when he knows they’re on the menu. I haven’t actually seen him do a ‘beef cheek’ dance, but I’m pretty sure he’s doing one on the inside…

I buy my gorgeous beef cheeks from Lauren and Greg at Linga Longa Farm. We look forward to seeing them every week at the Carriageworks Farmers Market. (I particularly love their happy bacon.)

Bloody Brilliant Braised Beef Cheeks

I know you already know how much I love a slow braise. It’s one of my favourite ways to cook (and eat!). Convenient really, since we’re in the middle of a cold snap here in Syders as I write this.

Generally, braising or slow cooking calls for a secondary cut of meat. That means it’s cheaper than the steaks and cutlets that make up the primary cuts that are so fashionable – and fast – to cook. So it’s definitely a way to make your food budget stretch a little further.

And, when you braise, the cuts you use are generally tougher. This means that they require a long, slow cook to break down some of the fibre in the meat BUT also that the flavour profile and meltingly tender texture is something that is worth waiting for.

Braising is another way to get more gut-healing bone into your tummy, too. And, it’s really easy to up the vegetable quotient in a braise – you get all the flavour of the protein, but you can stretch your meals further again – both in terms of nutritional value and bang for your buck. Win~win!

We are pretty careful about buying happy meat here. And, while the environment the animal grows up in is important to me, here in Australia (and New Zealand), we don’t have the same concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that you find in the States. I do like to make sure that the beef I eat comes from pasture-raised animals.

Beef contains the conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) compound, which has been shown by numerous studies to have health benefits. CLA levels in grass-fed cattle are 30-40% higher than in grain-fed animals! So, if you want maximum health benefits you really should choose grass-fed beef!

So – here we are. My recipe for bloody brilliant braised beef cheeks. It’s really tasty and autoimmune protocol friendly!

Bloody BRILLIANT Braised Beef Cheeks
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is AIP-friendly
Recipe type: The Main Event
Serves: 8 - 10
  • 2 tablespoons fat of choice (I used coconut oil)
  • 2 kilos (4.5 pounds) of happy beef cheeks (approximately)
  • 1 rasher (strip) of bacon
  • 1 large leek
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 150 mls verjuice
  • 200 mls filtered water
  • 550 mls bone broth, preferably beef
  • 3 anchovy fillets
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Himalayan sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Freshly chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat your oven to 150°C/300°F. Wash, peel, slice and/or chop your leeks, carrots and celery. Roughly chop your bacon. Peel your garlic.
  2. Heat the fat in a large casserole (I use my le Creuset). Brown the beef cheeks in batches on a medium heat. Sear the cheeks for 3 – 4 minutes per side. Take the time to get a really nice crust on your meat. Remove the meat to a dish.
  3. Now, sweat the chopped vegetables and bacon for five minutes, stirring frequently. Add the verjuice and simmer for a couple of minutes before adding the water and bone broth. Add the anchovies, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, salt, and cinnamon.
  4. Carefully place the beef cheeks on top of the vegetables and allow the liquid to come to the boil.
  5. Pop the lid on your casserole and transfer the dish to the oven for 4½ – 5 hours, by which time the meat should be lovely and tender.
  6. When the cheeks are ready, remove the herbs and discard. Pop the cheeks into a heat proof dish to keep warm. (At this point, I like to shred the meat with two forks, but that’s entirely up to you.) Strain about half the liquid into a pot and bring to the boil, reducing slightly. Serve your beef cheeks on a bed of mash and spoon the sauce over the top.
  7. Sprinkle with parsley.
*if you have no verjuice to hand, substitute with 2 - 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar topped with water.
E N J O Y !

*first published August 2014

Bloody Brilliant Braised Beef Cheeks

Related Posts

Comments (21)

Beef cheeks and short ribs are two things I have been meaning to get around to before winter ends. One of these days I’ll also get to Eveleigh Markets – how can it take SO long to get an arse or two into gear!

(Almost) totally unrelated to slow cooking – you’ve mentioned having a good Functional Health Practitioner and I’ve been looking for one of these for a while. Would you be happy to pass on their name?

PP – I highly recommend them both!

I see Kate Norris at the Sydney Integrative Medicine centre in Surry Hills. Not 100% sure if she is still accepting patients – but I know there are a couple of other ‘like minded’ practitioners. Good luck! Do let me know how you go.

AND! – Do give the beef cheeks a go. They are delish’! 🙂

Most many thankyous TSL, and will do, on both counts.

Yum yum! Bubs has just started solids so am getting my chef mojo back as I come up with 100 ways with puréed veggies !!!! Looking forward to moving on to blending up our meals and this looks like a good one…. Just need to omit the salt!

BCD! I feel honoured 🙂

How are you and your wee man going? Missing you here in Blog-land. Sparks just popped her head up again after a long hiatus…

The Galloping Gourmet soup recipe would be a winner (and pretty yummy!). My favourite from childhood.

Will do (!) Looks delicious xx

Small confession – I had beef cheeks for breakfast. SO good! 🙂

If it’s bloody brilliant, it must be good!

Lulu – I honestly can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t love beef cheeks (but, my Mum is not a fan, so I know it happens). Melt in your mouth tender… YUM!

I feel I can taste the yumminess through your photos and description! I’ve never made cheeks myself but have attempted twice now to purchase from F&B (all out) as I recently gifted Sarah Wilson’s slow cooker ebook and there was a delightful looking cheek recipe there! Must try this one and hers soon x

P4S – DEFINITELY try them – SO good! (come to Eveleigh with me one Saturday and I’ll introduce you to Lauren and Greg!) Your kind of peeps!

Looks so good! I’ve been asking my local farmers about beef cheeks for a while and they never seem to have them. This recipe makes me want to keep at it 🙂

SO good, Emily! My Dad is visiting from NZ next month. He has requested beef cheeks.

I’m jealous whenever I see recipes with the unusual cuts of meat. Our local butchers are sooooooo conventional. They just won’t give us everything! This looks delicious!

Eileen – last week my farmers market meat man gave me 1/2 a piglet’s head! I think he may svn have been saving it just for me! Now I have to work out how to cook it… Watch this space.

Beef cheeks are delish!

Comments are closed.