Slow cooker recipe: Braised Ox Cheeks

If you are looking for an economical recipe, then we all know that the slow cooker is the way forward for really getting the best out of lesser used cuts of meat. We saw 2 ox cheeks in the supermarket reduced to £1 (from about £4) and decided to try them, as we had not cooked with them before. It was an awesome surprise just how delicious it is! And the meat went really far, we stretched it over loads of meals. So if you’re unsure about cheeks, nows the time to dive in and give it a go. It’s a truly delicious winter food.

Braised Ox Cheeks


  • 2 ox cheeks
  • Water
  • Beef stock cube
  • Splash of red wine
  • Squeeze of tomato puree
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • cornflour slaked in water
  • 2 tablespoons plain greek yoghurt
  • spoonful of thyme leaves
  • twist of pepper


  • I’d looked around the internet and read all about removing excess sinew and any silver skin. It sounded hard, so I sharpened my knife and dove in. It was easy. And as I cut the cheeks into cubes I realised that there were lovely fatty layer running through the meat that should stay.
  • Once any really tough looking bits were trimmed from the exterior, I left it at that and whacked it in the slow cooker.


  • I added a splash of red wine, some water and a stock cube, a squeeze of tomato puree and about three garlic cloves. 
  • Then I put the slow cooker on high and ignored it. I suppose you could brown the meat beforehand, it would probably give extra flavour, but I didn’t bother and I didn’t feel like I missed out.

  • After about three hours cooking, the stock had gone lovely and dark and the meat was starting to tenderise. I turned the bits which were not immersed in the liquor and left it to do its thing.

  • After about 6 hours, it was tender enough to shred with a wooden spoon. Delicious. I gave it another hour.

  •  With an hour to go I thought it would be best to add a bit of cornflour slaked with cold water to thicken the stock a bit. During the last half hour before serving, I also worried I’d added to much stock and that it was overly salty, so I added a couple of tablespoons of Greek yoghurt and simmered for another half an hour.
  • Before serving I added a twist of pepper and a handful of fresh thyme leaves.

  • And there you have it. I served it with baby corn, mashed potato with carrots and some oven warmed soda bread. It was phenomenal.

 The rest of it we had with pasta, with chips and also put through a sort of vegetable risotto. It stretched over a load of meals and was fabulous. Don’t just order ox cheeks because you see them on an expensive menu. Make them yourself. It’s the right thing to do.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.