Beef cheek stew and burrata mash

It was another Saturday and another game of Rugby. Needless to say it was bitter cold and sitting still for too long makes the cold creep in to the bones! I realized we needed something truly warming when we got back This cold weather makes me crave hearty foods, like stew and even more so after the rugby! A beef cheek from the butcher and a fridge full of veg that needed using was a perfect base. I picked beetroot and Brussels sprouts from the allotment and I had the rest at home. Take what you have, it is a great way to use up all those veg!

I did the stew beforehand and prepared the veg for the mash so that it wouldn’t take long before we could eat as soon as we got home. usually we would have gone for a curry but I am trying to be a little healthier (I always get carried away at my favorite curry house  and order and eat too much, it is just so good!) Saying that I could not resist a cheesy mash to go with the stew!

Warming beef stew, serves 4-6 people, slow cooking allow for about 3 hr cooking time

  • 1 beef cheek (this was a big one, 700gr)
  • flour
  • 3 rashes of streaky bacon
  • 1 chorizo cooking sausage
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • cracked back peppercorns
  • button mushrooms, seperate the top from the stems but keep the stems
  • 2 onions
  • 2 fresh beetroots
  • 1 handful of Brussels sprouts
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bayleafs
  • cauliflower florets
  • a bunch of parsley, chop the stems and the leaves seperatley
  • 1/2 bottle of red wine
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 3dl beef stock
  • salt & pepper

Start by pan frying the smoked bacon or pancetta. Remove from the pan and set aside. I trimmed and cut up the beef cheek in to chunks and then dusted them in flour. I fried them in batches in bacon fat and oil and set aside.


I then added the base veg, carrot, celery, onion, the mushroom stems (I hate to let anything go to waste), the chopped garlic, cracked black pepper and bay leaves.


I also use the stem of the parsley, slightly bruised and chopped up, perfect for slow cooking.


Once the veg starts to brown add the meat and bacon back in and dust with smoked paprika. Pour in the wine and stock and let simmer with lid on, on low heat for about 2 hours. Then add the remaining veg, I like to add more carrot that will not be so cooked through, button mushrooms, beetroot, the chorizo sausage and the Brussels sprouts and let simmer for another hour, keep tasting with salt, pepper and more smoked paprika and hot sauce. If the stew needs thickening add some corn flour dissolved in water. Let simmer for up to another hour or until the meat is fall apart tender.

I love mash potatoes, most of all I like the kind of rich mash that James Martin makes on Saturday Kitchen with butter and cream! However I can never make myself add quite that much fat without feeling guilty (it is more ok to eat this when someone else has cooked it and I sort of don’t know just how it has been done), so I do a slightly healthier version.

Burrata mash

  • potates peeled and chopped
  • cauliflower florets
  • 1 parsnip peeled, halved and sliced
  • 3 tbsp burrata
  • salt and white pepper
  • Cooking liquid
  • warm semi skimmed milk

Boil the potato, cauliflower and parsnip until soft. Drain and use a masher Add a little cooking liquid and milk until the consistency is perfect, taste with salt and pepper and add the burrata, mix until this is melted and you should have a cheesy mash. The burrata can be replaced with mozzarella.

I served with with a crunchy salad for extra texture, it was so wonderfully warming after sitting in the cold I could not have asked for anything better. The bottle of claret to go with it might have helped a little as well.


It tasted even better the day after when the flavors had more time to marry and I did macaroni to go with it as the cold weather seems to bring out a craving for carbs! I just bought a couple of new pink and heart shaped bowls and I had to try them even if I got some grumbly comments from the man having to eat from something so completely unmanly! Needless to say the food went down very well regardless of the plate!


2 Responses to “Beef cheek stew and burrata mash”
  1. Marmaduke Scarlet says:

    I meant to leave a comment when I first saw this post. It sounds glorious and you have used two ingredients that I have never used – beef cheeks and burrata. My local Italian deli said they could get some of the cheese if I gave them a bit of notice. But my butcher (who slightly intimidates me) shook his head mournfully and said “no love, we don’t have much call for them” – I am baffled. I suspect the butcher is taking the cheeks home for his family!

    • petra08 says:

      If you can get burrata you have a lovely deli! It is so delicious! And it made the mash super cheesy.
      I did get visions of your butcher feeding his family on those lovely beef cheeks, if you can get them they are so delicious, and same for pigs cheeks!!

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