Joues de boeuf en daube (French beef cheeks)

Beef cheeks are cooked for two hours until tender in a rich red wine stew for a delicious wintery dish

  • 15 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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Joues de boeuf en daube (french beef cheeks)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 20 gram butter
  • 1 large brown onion, sliced
  • 1 bunch baby carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 large thyme springs
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 strips orange rind
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon plain flour
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 large (650 g total) beef cheeks, silverskin removed, halved
  • 1 cup red wine (such as merlot)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 cup beef stock
  • 2 400g tins cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • handful parsley leaves, roughly chopped
  • crusty bread, to serve


Joues de boeuf en daube (french beef cheeks)
  • 1
    Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Heat half each of olive oil and butter in ovenproof saucepan over medium-high heat.
  • 2
    Cook onion, carrot and celery in saucepan for 7 minutes. Add garlic, thyme, bay leaves and rind. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Spoon into bowl and set aside.
  • 3
    Season flour with salt and pepper. Generously dust beef cheeks with seasoned flour. Heat remaining butter and oil in same pan. Cook one side of beef cheeks for 2 minutes, until golden. Turn beef and cook for a further 2 minutes, then transfer to bowl with vegetables.
  • 4
    Add wine and juice to saucepan; using wooden spoon, stir and scrape brown bits from base of pan (this is called "deglazing"). Boil for 2 minutes, until reduced slightly. Add stock, vegetables and meat. Stir to combine.
  • 5
    Cover with lid and bake in oven, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours; until beef is meltingly tender.
  • 6
    Remove from oven and stir through cannellini beans. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • 7
    Scatter over chopped parsley and enjoy with crusty bread.


You can make this stew to step 5 and keep it refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat it over medium heat, and add the cannellini beans and parsley before serving. For a quicker-cooking stew, or if you can't find beef cheeks, use chuck steak instead. It's a cheaper cut and more readily available in supermarkets. Cut it into cubes and cook for about 1-2 hours at step 5.