Project Description

Beef Cheeks in Baharat Spice with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Soft Polenta

Beef cheeks vary in their need for cooking time depending on the breed of beef. Therefore it is better to start this recipe the day before you want to eat them as they can take anything from 3-6 hours. While this recipe is great in a slow cooker, at low oven works too.

Serves 4 – 6
Cooking 5-6 hours


1.3k approx. (4) beef cheeks
2 tablespoons baharat spice mix
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup (80ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/2 (125ml) cup dry sherry
2 cups (500ml) good red wine
2 large onions roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
6 cloves garlic roughly chopped
2 cups (500ml) beef stock
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs thyme
salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
750g Brussels sprouts, trimmed
2 tablespoons (40ml) caramelised balsamic or vincotto
2 tablespoons (40g) butter
2 tablespoons (40ml) extra virgin olive oilWinter

11/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock or water
11/2 cups (375ml) water
11/2 cups (255g) instant polenta
1 cup (250ml) milk
1 tablespoon butter


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Pat beef cheeks dry with paper towel and rub with baharat spice mix. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add half the olive oil and brown the cheeks on each side. Remove beef cheeks to an oven-proof casserole dish. Deglaze the frying pan with sherry and red wine then reduce by half and add to the casserole.
  3. Wipe out the frying pan and add the remaining olive oil, then add the onions and celery to soften. Add garlic and cook a minute more. Deglaze with beef stock.
  4. Add to the casserole with bay leaves and thyme, cover and place in the oven. Turn the beef cheeks frequently. Check after 2 hours. They may well take up to 5 or 6 hours. Uncover for the final hour of cooking, still turning a few times.
  5. For the Polenta: Combine the stock and water in a medium saucepan; bring to the boil, gradually stir in the polenta. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the polenta is tender. Stir in the milk and season to taste with salt and pepper and stir through butter. Set aside and whisk occasionally.
  6. Cook sprouts in salted simmering water for 4-5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and cut in halves, reserving any loose leaves. Place on a baking tray with leaves drizzle with balsamic, butter, salt and pepper and place in oven. Cook for 30 mins. (Sprouts can also be cooked in a hot oven for 10 mins).

Lyndey’s Note: Baharat is a Middle Eastern spice mix comprising mild paprika, black pepper, cumin, coriander, cassia, cloves, cardamom.

Recipe created for 2015 Calendar for Selector Magazine
Photography by: John Paul Urizar

Other beef recipes

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Baked Scotch Eggs

Roast Beef Rib with Spiced Salt and Anchovy and Parsley Béarnaise