Braised Scotch Beef ox cheeks, celeriac, bacon and thyme gremolata



Standard Supplier 17th April 2015

Braised Scotch Beef ox cheeks, celeriac, bacon and thyme gremolata

As an incredibly popular meat within the UK, Scotch Beef recipes are vast and varied. With a range of Scotch Beef cuts to consider as well as cooking methods and flavour pairings, Scotch Beef recipes are varied in flavour, texture and preparation time - give this one a try for yourself! (Serves 6) By Jonathan Macdonald, Ox and Finch. In association with Quality Meat Scotland. Photography by Guy Hinks.


  • • 3 Scotch Beef ox cheeks- outer sinew removed and halved into portions
  • • 1 bottle of red wine
  • • 2 carrots cut as for mirepoix
  • • 1 onions cut as for mirepoix
  • • 2 sticks of celery cut as for mirepoix
  • • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • • 2 tomatoes quartered
  • • 8 sprigs of thyme
  • • 1 tablespoon stock syrup
  • • 1 tablespoon flour
  • • 2 litres chicken stock
  • • 1 litre veal stock
  • • 1 large celeriac
  • • 200g smoked pancetta diced into lardons
  • • 500g butter
  • • 500ml double cream
  • • 200g panko breadcrumbs
  • • Vegetable oil


• Marinade the Scotch Beef ox cheeks in the red wine with a sprig of thyme and a handful of mirepoix for 12 hours.

• Drain off the Scotch Beef ox cheeks and reserve the wine.

• Sear the Scotch Beef ox cheeks in a smoking hot pan on all sides until evenly caramelised – make sure they are seasoned liberally with fine salt. Set aside.

• Turn the heat down in the pan and add in a half block of butter, the mirepoix and the thyme. Slowly caramelize the veg until it is nicely coloured (this should take about 15 minutes.)

• Once the veg is coloured add in the flour and cook out for a minute or two. Return to a high heat and add in the reserved cooking wine. Reduce until it reaches a syrupy consistency, then add in the stock syrup and cook for a minute. Next add in the chicken and veal stock, tomatoes quartered and the halved garlic bulb, bring to the boil and add the ox cheeks in. Bring back to the boil then cover with a cartouche and cook in the oven at approx. 180c for two-three hours, turning them occasionally.

• While the Scotch Beef ox cheeks are cooking, peel the celeriac and cut the centre into a large even square, then cut the square into one inch dice reserving the trim for puree.

• For the puree put the reserved celeriac trim into a pan with two litres of water and 20g of salt, bring up to a gentle simmer on the heat and cook until soft. When soft drain the celeriac into a colander and put back into the pan with enough double cream to nearly cover. Put back on a very low heat until the cream has reduced right down. Blitz the celeriac, pass through a chinois, season and set aside in a warm place.

• For the roasted celeriac, heat a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil in a wide bottomed st/st pan until smoking hot, then add the celeriac (only add enough so there is plenty of room in the pan to quickly colour the dice). Season well, colour on each side quickly, then add in the butter a few knobs at a time until it starts foaming then add a few cloves of garlic and two sprigs of thyme.

• Make sure the butter does not burn by adding more butter to regulate the temperature if needed. Cook until the dice is cooked through with a nice golden brown colour. Then strain through a colander to get rid of the excess fat.

• In a smoking hot pan add a little oil and brown off the lardons, releasing the fat and making sure they crisp up. Then add the butter and wait till it foams before adding in the thyme, followed by the panko breadcrumbs. Stir frequently until the breadcrumbs have soaked up all the foaming butter and have turned a nice golden brown colour. Take from the pan and drain on kitchen paper to take off any excess fat.

• Be careful not to season throughout the process as the bacon can sometimes be very salty! Only season at the end.

• Pierce the Scotch Beef ox cheeks with a tooth pick to check if they are ready, there should be no resistance whatsoever.

• If ready, leave to cool in the liquor before removing.

• Strain the liquor though a conical strainer then through a chinois into a clean pan and reduce until the desired consistency is met.

• Put the Scotch Beef ox cheeks back into the sauce to warm through.

• To serve, put a large spoonful of celeriac puree into the centre of each warm plate, rest the Scotch Beef ox cheek on top, scatter the roast mushrooms and celeriac over and around the Scotch Beef ox cheek and top the Scotch Beef ox cheek with a few tablespoons of the sauce. Then sprinkle the gremolata over the top and serve.