Mexican Style Braised Beef Cheeks


Mexican Style Braised Beef Cheeks

'Beef cheeks are an ideal choice for slow-braising due to their rich, gelatinous texture. Order them in advance from your butcher, or substitute beef brisket or trimmed chuck steak'. 


- 1 dried chipotle chilli
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp each sweet smoked paprika (pimenton), ground coriander and cinnamon
- 1 tbs each ground cumin and dried oregano
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1.5kg beef cheeks, trimmed, cut into 4cm pieces
- 1/4 cup (40g) coconut sugar
- 2 x 400g cans chopped tomatoes
- 1L (4 cups) bone broth or store-bought beef stock
- 400g can black (turtle) beans or red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
- Warmed flour tortillas, guacamole, sliced red onionlight sour creamcoriander leaves, finely chopped long red chilli (optional) and lime wedges, to serve.


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the chipotle in a bowl, cover with 1/2 cup (125ml) boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 tbs soaking liquid.
  2. Place the onion, garlic, spices, oregano and the soaked chipotle in a food processor and whiz to a coarse paste, adding the reserved soaking liquid if the mixture is too dry.
  3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole over medium-low heat. Add the chipotle paste and cook, stirring, for 6-8 minutes until fragrant. Increase heat to medium-high, add the beef and cook, turning, for a further 3-4 minutes until browned all over.
  4. Add the sugar, tomato and stock, season, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 2-21/2 hours until the beef is tender.
  5. Stir through the beans, then return to the oven, uncovered, for a further 30 minutes or until the sauce is reduced and thickened. 
  6. Serve the beef cheeks with tortillas, guacamole, red onion, sour cream, coriander leaves, chilli, if using, and lime wedges. Serves 4-6.
From the book Love to Cook by Valli Little. Reproduced with the permission of delicious magazine and ABC Books.

Ingredients for Mexican Style Braised Beef Cheeks

Onions Brown (each)

Product of SA (Aust)

$0.15 ea

Garlic (head)

$0.77 ea

Onions Spanish (each)

Product of Australia

$0.68 ea

Coriander (bunch)

Product of Australia

$2.99 ea

Chillies Hot Long Red (min 110g)

Product of Australia

$2.20 ea

Limes (each)

Product of QLD (Aust)

$1.32 ea