By • January 19, 2010 6 Comments

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Author Notes: I have made this dish many times because it is a great make ahead of time dish. When a winery party is for 20 or 30 people I have to do as much as I can days before the event. The main reason, however, is that it tastes great and does not cost a fortune to buy the ingredients. The hardest part is finding beef cheeks...restaurants love them for their menus and there are not a lot since each cow only has two! Plus a lot of butchers kill the cow using a method that precludes using the head for anything else. I finally used veal cheeks for this recipe. As with a lot of braised meat recipes the flavor improves after a day or two. (but tastes great right away, too)dymnyno

Serves 6


  • olive oil
  • about 1/2 pounds beef trimmings or stew meat
  • 1 cup shallots (med chop)
  • 1 cup leeks (white part only, chopped)
  • 1/2 carrots (med chop)
  • 3 garlic cloves (about 1 tbs)
  • 1 750 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup cabernet vinegar
  • 1 cup port wine
  • 2 quarts veal stock
  • a couple sprigs of fresh thyme
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns


  • 6 whole beef cheeks (or 2 veal cheeks per person)
  • 1 cup onions (chopped)
  • 1 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 carrot (chopped)
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 3 garlic cloves (chopped) about 1 tbs.
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 750 bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1 quart veal stock
  • salt to taste
  1. CABERNET SAUCE: Heat a little oil in a dutch oven or heavy pot and sear the beef trimmings and remove.
  2. Add the vegetables and brown.
  3. To the browned vegetables, add the herbs (thyme, bay leaf and pepper) then add the wine, wine vinegar and port and reduce by 1/2.
  4. Add the veal stock and reduce until the sauce becomes syrupy.
  5. Strain through chinois. You will have about 1 pint of the reduction.
  6. BRAISED BEEF CHEEKS: Heat a little oil in a large dutch oven .
  7. Dry the beef (or veal) cheeks and brown in the dutch oven. Remove and put aside.
  8. Add the vegetables and carmelize. Add the wine and reduce untill the pot is almost dry.
  9. Put the cheeks back into the pot and add the veal stock and the herbs (thyme, bay leaf, peppercorns). If the veal stock does not just cover the meat, add a little water.
  10. Bake in a 250 degree oven for about 3 hours, until tender.
  11. Remove the meat from the liquid.
  12. Cool the liquid and remove the solidified fat from it. Remove the vegetables from the liquid. Strain.
  13. Reduce the liquid by half. When you are ready to make the final preparations reheat the cheeks in the reduced liquid.
  14. Plate the meat and serve it with the Cabernet Sauce poured over it and extra to be passed.

More Great Recipes: Beef & Veal|Entrees

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