Braised Beef Cheeks with Cheesy Polenta

From starting to serving: 4 hours.  Active time: 1 hour.

Serves 6. 

How the chefs explain it:

Brown the cheeks, soften the veg then simmer in wine & stock with aromats. Simmer polenta in stock & milk, add Grana & butter, then serve with cheeks and gremolata.


For the Beef

For the Polenta

To Serve – gremolata

For the Beef

  1. Pat the cheeks dry with a clean kitchen towel then sprinkle salt over all sides.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Cook the cheeks in the oil (they might not all fit, so do one or two at a time) until they are deep brown on both sides.
  4. Take them out of the pan.
  5. Add 2 more tablespoons of oil to the pan (there will be little leftover brown bits, don’t discard them, they are delicious!)
  6. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the veg is starting to soften.
  7. Add the tomato paste and stir for one minute.
  8. Add the wine, turn up the heat to bring the wine to a hard boil.
  9. Add the stock, bay leaf and cinnamon, bring back to the boil.
  10. Return the cheeks and any juices to the pot then turn the heat to low and simmer for 3 hours.

For the Polenta

  1. In your other large pot, bring the stock and milk to a simmer.
  2. Add the polenta and salt cook, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the butter, cheese and pepper and stir well.
  4. Serve immediately

To Serve

  1. Combine all the ingredients of the gremolata.
  2. Spread the polenta on a large serving platter
  3. Add the beef cheeks and braising liquid on top
  4. Sprinkle over the gremolata
  5. Gather your luckiest friends around a small table, give them spoons and let them tuck in.



 Chefs' note:

Beef cheeks improve in flavour if made up to 2 days ahead. Store in the fridge and remove any solidified fat before reheating.