These slow cooked Beef Cheeks are braised in a beautiful red wine sauce until they are so meltingly tender, you can eat it with a spoon! The braising liquid in this Beef Cheeks recipe is infused with incredible flavour and when pureed, transforms into a thick, luscious gravy-like sauce.

Perfectly accompanied with creamy mashed potatoes, this is a very easy dish that is suited to an elegant dinner party or a hearty midweek meal. Make this in your slow cooker, pressure cooker or on the stove!

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Slow cooked beef cheeks in red wine sauce on creamy mashed potato

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks

This is a magnificent dish that takes a budget cut of beef and transforms it with little effort into a dish that you’ll find on the menu of fine dining restaurants.

Except it’s 80% cheaper. 🙂 I had lunch at an upscale bistro on the weekend where Beef Cheeks were on the menu for $35 a serving!

Little known fact: Beef cheeks are the KING of all slow cooking cuts of beef!

What are beef cheeks?

Beef Cheeks are the cheek muscle of cows and they are a very tough cut of meat that needs to be cooked long and slow to make it tender. It absorbs the flavours of braising liquid well and when you cut into it, it is stringy, almost like pulled pork.

But unlike beef chuck (used for Beef Stew and Pot Roast), Brisket and even Beef Short Ribs which have patches of really juicy sections and also some that can (sometimes) be a bit dry, not a single part of the beef cheek is dry. Every mouthful is juicy and luscious and even just typing up this post is making my mouth water!

And THAT is what makes them so special!!

Overhead photo of Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks with Red Wine Sauce in a pot, fresh off the stove ready to be served.

What you need for this Beef Cheeks recipe

We’re making a fine dining quality dish here, but it just calls for a trip to your local grocery store! Here’s what you need:

Beef Cheeks

5 years ago, they were cheaper and weren’t always available in the large supermarkets here in Australia. But nowadays, thanks to shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules, the price has been driven up but on the plus side, they are now regulars at mainstream stores like Coles and Woolies!

If you can’t find Beef Cheeks, other slow cooking beef cuts will work fine – Beef Short Ribs would be an ideal substitute. Cut them into 250g/8oz chunks so the same cooking times and liquid quantities in this recipe will apply.

Raw beef cheeks

This is a magnificent dish that takes a budget cut of beef and transforms it with little effort into a fine dining restaurant dish!

Refer: Healthy Supper Ideas For Family | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

Ingredients for red wine sauce for slow cooked beef cheeks

Red Wine for cooking

My Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks recipe is made with a classic Italian red wine braising liquid. The deep, warm, complex flavours of red wine are perfect for using as the stock base for slow cooked beef dishes.

Go to your local liquor outlet and look for end of bin specials and pick up a bottle of a full bodied red wine like Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

A pet peeve of mine are recipes that tell you that you must use good quality drinking wine for slow cooking recipes. I do not believe that at all for slow cooked dishes – and the New York Times agrees.

For quick sauces, yes, absolutely. But not for a braising liquid. I bet not even the greatest food critic in the world would be able to tell if it was a discounted $5 end of bin special or a $40 reserve Cab Sav. (Seriously. Who would make a slow cooked beef recipe using a $40 bottle of wine??).

You won’t use the whole bottle. If the wine is not to your standard for drinking, measure out cups and pour them into ziplock bags and freeze them. Handy to have when you need wine for other recipes!

How to make this Beef Cheeks Recipe

Though it does take time to slow cook, it’s an incredibly straightforward recipe:

  • Brown beef cheeks aggressively – this is key for flavour!

  • Saute garlic, onion, carrots and celery – our soffrito, the flavour base for the sauce;

  • Add braising liquid ingredients;

  • Slow cook the beef cheeks until they are fall apart tender – stove 2.5 hrs, oven 3.5 hrs, slow cooker 8 hrs, pressure cooker / Instant Pot 1 hr;

  • Puree sauce to thicken into a gravy-like consistency;

  • Serve beef cheeks with sauce over creamy mashed potato (go all out with Paris Mash!) or for a low carb option, Mashed Cauliflower.

How to make Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks in Red wine sauce

Don’t let the length of the recipe directions fool you, this really is a simple recipe. It’s just long because I’ve provided directions for 3 different cooking methods.

Read more: Easy Dinner Ideas Crock Pot | Coral's Blog – Food Blog – Cooking Guide

This Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks is a recipe that is elegant enough for a dinner party and if made using a slow cooker, easy enough for mid week.

The other great thing about these Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks is that the leftovers freeze 100% perfectly, OR can be transformed into two other incredible dishes that I’ve shared:

  1. Beef Cheek Ragu Pasta – the rich braising liquid was made for tossing through pasta!

  2. Beef, Mushroom and Vegetable Pie

Cook once, eat thrice!! – Nagi x

Try these on the side

  • Paris Mash (ultimate creamy mashed potato!) or Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

  • Crisp salad with tangy Balsamic Dressing or French Vinaigrette

  • Brown Sugar Glazed Carrots

  • Garlic Sautéed Spinach

  • Magic Roasted Broccoli

  • Sautéd Brussels Sprouts in Creamy Parmesan Sauce

Slow Cooked Beef Cheeks with Red Wine Sauce on creamy mashed potato on a plate ready to be eaten

Watch how to make it

Originally published August 2014. Updated August 2019 with new photos, new process photos, new video, new writing. No change to recipe. I wouldn’t dare touch it, readers love it as it is!

Life of Dozer

His bib was soaked by the time the beef cheeks were in the pot…..

Dozer paper towel bib


See more: Good Appetizer Ideas For A Party | Guide to the Kitchen – Coral


See more: Good Appetizer Ideas For A Party | Guide to the Kitchen – Coral


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