Learn how to make melt-in-your-mouth braised beef cheeks in the Instant Pot. Cooked with red wine, tomato sauce and herbs, this is an easy beef cheek recipe that you can adjust and adapt to create variations for meals like tacos, pot pie or pasta ragu sauce. Or, simply serve over mashed potatoes with a side of green vegetables.
2.5 lb / 1.2 kg beef cheeks (4 cheeks), cut into 2″ pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onions (1 large onion)
1 cup diced carrots (1 large carrot)
1/2 diced celery (2 celery ribs)
1 teaspoon mixed dried herbs or Italian herbs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup red wine (any dry to medium wine)
2/3 cup water (beef stock or chicken stock could also be used)
1 can tomato sauce/passata (14–15 oz / 400 g can)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves (optional)
To serve: 1/4 cup chopped parsley + 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- Prep. Cut the beef cheeks into 2-inch pieces; you can cut them into smaller pieces if you like.
- Saute. Set the Instant Pot to Saute setting on Normal. Add olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. Stir a few times.
- Add meat & bits: Add diced beef cheeks, herbs, seasonings and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Pour in the wine and stir, then follow by 2/3 cup of water (or beef stock if using). Stir through, scraping the bottom of the pot and press Cancel to stop the saute process. Finally, pour the tomato sauce over the top and spread but don’t stir through (to prevent any burning errors, it will sink through during cooking).
- Secure and lock the lid. Set to Manual/Pressure Cook on HIGH pressure for 40 minutes. After 3 beeps, the Instant Pot will start building up pressure (should take about 10 minutes) and the cooking will commence. Once the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally.
- In the meantime, prepare other sides such as mashed potatoes and vegetables or things you need for one of the other meals. See our ideas above. We love beef cheeks with chopped parsley and lemon zest, also known as gremolata, so you can prepare that as well.
- Finish the dish. Open the lid and stir the meat through the sauce. It should be very tender, easy enough to shred with a fork. You can serve the beef cheeks as they are over mashed potatoes or you can use a potato masher to break down and shred the meat to turn this into a ragu sauce to go over pasta. If you like a thicker sauce, you can stir in a mixture of 1 tablespoon of flour and 3 tablespoons of water (known as a slurry) into the stew while it’s hot and it will thicken up.
Meat & Veg Meal: serve with steamed or boiled green beans and mashed potatoes
Pasta Meal: shred the meat into the sauce and serve over cooked pasta of any kind but particularly good with pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine and grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Taco Meal: scoop out half of the liquid and add a tablespoon or two of taco seasoning to the cooked beef cheeks, shred with fork or potato masher; serve with tortillas, chipotle hot sauce and chopped cilantro and onions, drizzle with lime juice.
Pot Pie Meal: mix a tablespoon of flour and 3-4 tablespoons of water in a small bowl until smooth, stir into the beef cheeks sauce to thicken it. Add a cup of peas or/and cut up broccoli or kale to the cooked beef cheeks and transfer everything to a deep pie dish. Butter the edges and top with rolled out puff pastry puff pastry. Cook in the oven as per puff pastry instructions.
Storage & freezer: This recipe yields a large batch of beef cheeks which you can divide into portions and store in the fridge for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 3-6 months.
- Serving Size: 5-6 oz of meat and sauce
- Calories: 359
- Sugar: 5.2 g
- Sodium: 602.4 mg
- Fat: 15 g
- Saturated Fat: 3.6 g
- Carbohydrates: 10.7 g
- Fiber: 2.4 g
- Protein: 40.8 g
- Cholesterol: 118 mg
Keywords: beef, beef cheeks, meat, instant pot, Italian