Ale-braised ox cheek with mash, red cabbage and English mustard clotted cream

I was at our a new butcher’s which has opened near our flat and saw they had ox cheek on sale for a reasonable price. As it’s not something I come across often, I bought some up and then spent a good while looking for a recipe I could try out.

I decided on this one as I love red cabbage and the addition of the mustard clotted cream sounded unusual, delicious and decadent all at once. As someone who used to live in Devon, I’s had it countless times on a cream tea, but never on a savoury dish, so really wanted to try it.

My photography skills, as usual, don’t do it justice as this was amazing. How do you make a stew look pretty, anyway?!

The meat was soft fell apart, the stew was rich and full of flavour and was offset perfectly by the sweetness of the red cabbage and the slight sharpness of the mustard cream.

Serves 6

Ale braised ox cheek
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  • 1.5kg ox cheek, trimmed
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion , diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 500ml ale
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • For the cabbage
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red cabbage
  • 150 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 50g redcurrant jelly
  • 40g butter
  • For the cream
  • 200g clotted cream
  • 20g english mustard


  1. Heat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1. Fry the ox cheek in 1 tbsp oil in a large, heavy pan over a medium heat. When browned, remove from the pan and add the vegetables, bay leaves and thyme. When all the vegetables are golden (about 8 minutes), add the ale and scrape away any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Add the ox cheeks back and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the stock, bring back to the boil, and cover with foil or a tightly fitting lid. Slow-cook in the oven for 4-5 hours, until very tender. Turn the meat every 2 hours while cooking.
  2. Slice the onion and red cabbage very finely and put them in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for around 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the cabbage looks shiny and sticky.
  3. Mix the clotted cream and English mustard. Whisk for 20-30 seconds by hand, until it’s mixed and a little foamy. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  4. When the meat is ready, remove from the sauce. Reduce the sauce, if it needs it, to make a light gravy.Add the cheeks back to the pan.
  5. Serve with mashed potatoes at the bottom of your dishes with the cabbage and ox cheek on top and spoon over some cooking liquor. Serve with the mustard clotted cream.