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Slow-Cooked Mexican Beef Cheeks

a flavoursome slow-cooked winter dish, perfect for family meals
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 hrs
Total Time5 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 people
Author: Amanda Lawson


  • 2 beef cheeks(about 900 g) ask your butcher to trim them for you
  • 500 ml beef stock
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red capsicum, washed and thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • lime, corainder leaves and corn tortillas, to serve

Beef Cheek Marinade

  • 1 whole chipotle chilli I bought mine from Herbie's Spices
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp flaked sea salt


Beef Cheek Marinade

  • Begin this recipe a day ahead. Soak the chipotle chilli in 1/2 cup of boiling water for about 10 minutes until soft.
  • Put all the marinade ingredients, together with the chilli and its soaking liquid, in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Beef Cheeks

  • Put the cheeks in a glass or ceramic dish, toss them in the marinade, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  • The following day, take the cheeks out of the fridge two hours before cooking to allow them to come to room temperature.
  • Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  • Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish. Remove the cheeks from the marinade and sear them over a medium-high heat. Take them out of the dish and set them aside.
  • Add the sliced onion, sliced capsicum and reserved marinade and cook over a medium heat until the vegtables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add a little of the stock and rub the bottom of the casserole dish with a wooden spoon to remove any stuck bits.
  • Return the cheeks to the casserole dish, add the remaining stock, bring to the boil, then cover with a lid and transfer to the oven.
  • Cook the cheeks for 4 hours. By this time, the meat will be very soft. Remove the meat, and shred it with a knife and fork before returning to the pot.
  • Serve the beef cheeks on warmed corn tortillas with a squeeze of lime juice and coriander leaves.


The beef cheeks will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days. They can be frozen.
Leftover ideas: Mix the meat with a tin of tomatoes, spread out in a pie dish and top with puff pastry for a pot pie. Make a toasted sandwich with a few of the pickled red onions.