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Slow braised ox cheek with smoked pancetta, mushrooms and baby onions

PUBLISHED: 15:19 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 15:19 26 September 2014

Slow braised ox cheek with smoked pancetta, mushrooms and baby onions

Slow braised ox cheek with smoked pancetta, mushrooms and baby onions


Tom Kirby is the head chef for The County Hotel in Chelmsford. Prior to settling in Chelmsford, Tom worked at the Savoy Hotel in London. Originally from Surrey, he’s worked in Scotland too and has certainly felt the heat in some of the country’s top kitchens. Tom Comments: ‘I’ve worked preparing lunch for the Blair family on Mother’s Day, I’ve cooked for Sir Paul McCartney and been involved in the catering for the closing ceremony of Wimbledon.’ Here Tom shares his recipe for a delicious and warming supper.

Tom KirbyTom Kirby


Serves 4

(Prep time 30min, Cooking time 5hours)

2 x 500g ox cheeks

1 ltr of good quality beef or chicken stock

500ml of red wine

4 sprigs of rosemary

4 sprigs of thyme

1 onion (roughly chopped)

1 carrot (roughly chopped)

2 sticks of celery (roughly chopped)

4 cloves of garlic (peeled)

150g of smoked pancetta (diced)

200g of button mushrooms (quartered)

150g of baby onions (peeled)


Trim any fat or sinew from the meat (or ask your butcher). Cut the ox cheeks in half, therefore giving you four halves. Heat a large sauce pan over a medium heat and in a little oil, brown off the cheeks (don’t be afraid to get a really good colour on them as this will only enhance the flavour). Add the chopped vegetable and garlic, and gently brown these too.

Once all nicely roasted, turn up the heat and add the wine to deglaze the pan, reduce the wine by half and then add stock and herbs (the cheeks should be completely covered by the stock, if not add a little water). Bring the stock to the boil and cover with a lid or tin foil and put in the oven for around five hours at 150C. (This process can also be done in a slow cooker or at a lower temperature overnight, 100 degrees for 12 hours)

Once nicely braised, gently remove the meat from the stock and set aside and keep warm.

Strain the cooking stock through a fine sieve to remove all herbs and vegetables, and skim any fat/oil from the top of the stock. In a clean saucepan gently roast off the pancetta and discard any excess oil/fat, followed by the baby onions and button mushrooms. Once combined, add the strained stock and turn up the heat to reduce the cooking liqueur by half to form a sauce consistency.

To serve, in a bowl add a good scoop of buttery mash potato and some wilted spinach or kale. Gently place the beef cheek on top and ladle over a good helping of the sauce.

Get the taste

The County Hotel

Rainsford Road



01245 455700

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