Crockpot Ale Braised Beef Cheeks

Sumptuous slow cooked beef cheeks

It’s not often that I share a recipe for a British dish, but these sumptuous slow cooked Crockpot Ale Braised Beef Cheeks are outstanding! If you want food that is makes you feel wrapped in a comforter when you arrive home, this is the one for you! If you have never tried beef cheeks before, they are satisfying chunks of beef, that fall part after slow cooking. Marinated in dark ale (I used London ale), this is rustic rib sticking food. One of my favorite parts of making this is the aromas from the malted onions. They also taste fabulous and I recommend throwing a few more in than you think you need. I usually serve this with simple steamed broccoli with sea salt, as the vegetable absorbs the sauce.


WINE NOTE: Malbec is a full body wine that is made for beef and pairs beautifully with the dark ale marinade.


  • 3 beef cheeks, sinew removed
  • 500ml dark ale
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 750ml beef stock

Malted onions

  • 500ml dark ale
  • 3 small white onions, unpeeled
  • olive oil
  • 25g butter

Pearl barley risotto

  • 1¼l chicken stock
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 300ml double cream
  • 50g grated Parmesan
  • few drops lemon juice

Put the beef cheeks in a dish, cover with the ale and add the garlic, thyme and bay leaf, then leave to marinate overnight.
Strain off the cheeks and transfer the marinating liquid, garlic and herbs to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, brown both side of the beef cheeks in some oil in a skillet and then place in the slow cooker.
Place the marinade and the beef stock into the crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Malted Onions
Put the ale in a frying pan, add the whole onions, cover and simmer until the onions are tender, about 20 mins. Leave to cool slightly then peel and quarter. Place in a skillet with the butter and oil and sauté until golden.

When cooked, remove the cheeks, herbs and garlic, and set aside, then reduce the stock rapidly until it is syrupy. Keep warm until needed.

Make the risotto.
Put the chicken stock in a large pan and bring it to the boil. Add the barley, then cook for 15 mins. Remove from the heat, strain, then tip the barley into a medium-sized pan. Remove from the heat, strain, then tip the barley back into the pan. Place the garlic in a small pan with the double cream and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 mins, then transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside about 50ml of the garlic cream and pour the remainder over the barley & keep warm.

Just before serving, add the Parmesan and lemon juice to the barley risotto and salt, to taste. Spoon on to the centre of each plate, then slice the cheeks and arrange on top of the risotto. Place 3 malted onion wedges around the side and drizzle over the reduced ale stock. Drizzle the remaining garlic cream around the plate.

CHEERS! ENJOY!!! Follow my Facebook page for regular recipe posts!