Kentishtowner Kitchen: Braised Beef Cheeks at Kentish Canteen

“At the moment we have these amazing s-l-o-w cooked cheeks in red wine on the menu,” says owner Wendy. “It’s …

“At the moment we have these amazing s-l-o-w cooked cheeks in red wine on the menu,” says owner Wendy. “It’s a very tough and lean cut of meat, and you may have to order it ahead from the butcher. But it’s worth it: the longish cooking process produces the most tender result. At the Canteen we serve it with creamy polenta, but mash works equally well. Deelishus!”

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Ingredients for 4
4 x beef cheeks (around 400 gms each; ask your butcher to trim them)
Diced cubes of:
2 carrots
2 onions
2 celery sticks
2 bay leaves
Sprig of thyme and rosemary
750ml red wine
1 litre beef stock (fresh or made up from cubes or jelly)

Arrange beef cheeks in a fridge container. Cover with chopped vegetables, bouquet garni (bundle of herbs tied together with string) and wine. For a rich flavour, refrigerate for 24 hours. Take out meat and seal in a frying pan on a high heat. Put in an oven proof dish or deep roasting tray. Strain vegetables from marinade and brown in the frying pan; add to the meat.

In a saucepan, bring the wine and the beef stock to the boil. Reduce by half. Add to the meat. Nestle the bouquet garni around the meat and vegetables. Season with salt and black pepper.


Place in the oven on 180 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 150 degrees. Continue cooking slowly for a further 3.5 hours. The meat is ready when you can crumble the meat between two fingers.

Take the meat from the liqueur, reduce the rock until it is rich and shiny. Slice the meat, garnish with the vegetables and the rich, shiny jus.

Serve with creamy polenta or mash, and eat preferably in front of a roaring fire – or at the Canteen, of course.

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Kentish Canteen is at 300 Kentish Town Road.

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  • tigger

    Rock? Stock? Bit far north for Cockney rhyming slang innit? 😉