ingredients
  • olive oil, separated 3 tbsp
  • beef cheeks, fat removed 3 lbs
  • onion, roughly diced 1
  • celery stalk, roughly diced 1
  • carrot, roughly diced 1
  • Fresh thyme 6 stems
  • Dried bay leaves 4
  • Beef broth 1 cup
  • Red wine 2 cups
  • salt, separated 2 to 3 tsp
  • Black pepper to taste

If you've never tried slow cooker beef cheeks, you've been missing out. This flavorful dish is ultra-tender and each bite will melt in your mouth. Beef cheeks are a fantastic inexpensive cut of beef. While they can be a bit tough, if you slow cook beef cheeks they become so tender and juicy, they'll rival any of the classic more tender, and expensive cuts.

When served with the savory red wine gravy, it'll taste like a five-star meal! Enjoy your slow cooker beef cheeks with silky mashed potatoes or cauliflower and a warm baguette.

Slow Cooker Beef Cheeks Ingredients

There are a few key ingredients you'll need to make slow cooker beef cheeks. A good quality dry red wine is essential. Something like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot will work well. You'll also need some beef stock or beef broth – either will be fine for this recipe. Onions, carrots, celery, and garlic will form the base of the sauce and add a subtle tasty flavor while thyme and bay leaves add a wonderful herbal flavor.

How to Make Slow Cooker Beef Cheeks

To make the best slow cooker beef cheeks, start by searing the beef on both sides until dark brown. You may need to work in batches. Once they're all seared, set them aside on a plate. Saute the garlic and onions for a few minutes, then add in the celery and carrots and cook them for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to your slow cooker then layer the beef on top. Deglaze the pot you cooked the beef and veggies in with the red wine, then pour the wine into the slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, close the lid and cook for 8 hours on low or 6 hours on high.

After cooking, remove the beef cheeks and blend the sauce with an immersion blender. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and cook it for 10 minutes, or until it reduces. Pop the beef cheeks back into the sauce to warm them back up, then serve immediately.

Expert Tips

Remove any fatty membrane from the beef cheeks before you cook them. This will help keep the beef tender and help prevent it from becoming tough or chewy.

Use a full-bodied dry red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, or Syrah. You can also use beer instead of wine. A porter, stout, or IPA would work well in this recipe.

If you don't want to use wine, you can use grape juice, extra stock, pomegranate juice, apple juice, or cranberry juice.

This delicious beef cheeks recipe can also be used as a ragu and served with your favorite pasta.

You can add a light flour or cornstarch mixed with equal parts water to thicken the gravy if you find it isn't thickening to your liking.

What to Serve with Beef Cheeks

Serve your slow cooker beef cheeks with creamy mashed potatoes, rice, or a baked potato. For a keto option, try cauliflower rice or mashed cauliflower.

A light salad or a side of roasted veggies wouldn't be out of place either. Be sure to have some freshly baked bread on the table – you'll want to soak up all that mouthwatering gravy!

How to Store Slow Cooker Beef Cheeks

Keep your beef cheeks in an airtight container and refrigerate them for up to 2 to 3 days. For long-term storage, place them in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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Instructions

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef cheeks with salt and pepper. Working in batches if necessary, sear the cheeks on both sides until browned. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Lower the heat to medium. Add the remaining oil. Saute the garlic and onions for 3 minutes, or until soft.

Stir in the carrots and celery and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer the vegetables to your slow cooker. Layer the seared beef cheeks on top of the vegetables.

Pour the wine into the pot you used to cook the beef and turn the heat up to high, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom.

Add the wine to the slow cooker. Add in the thyme, bay leaves, beef broth, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook for 6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.

Remove the bay leaves. Remove the beef cheeks and set them aside. Blend the gravy with an immersion blender. Pour the gravy into a saucepan and heat on medium-high for 10 minutes, or until it reduces to your desired consistency.

Add the beef cheeks to the gravy to warm. Serve.

Notes

Let the beef come up to room temperature before cooking it.