Beef Cheeks on Pappardelle with Salsa Verde

, from Issue #104. July, 2022
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Beef Cheeks on Pappardelle with Salsa Verde

I love the way the salty olives and sweet semi-dried tomatoes cut through the unctuous nature of the tender beef cheeks.

Serves: 6-8


2 kilograms beef cheeks
2 tablespoons olive oil
80 grams pancetta, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2½ cups red wine
1 cup passata
2 teaspoons caster sugar
sea salt and ground pepper
1 cup sunblush tomatoes, roughly chopped
16 large black olives

To serve
hot, cooked pappardelle
Salsa Verde (see recipe below)
1 cup freshly grated parmesan


Trim any sinew from the beef cheeks and cut them in half. Heat the oil in a large casserole dish and, in batches, sear the beef for a few minutes on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Don’t wash the pan.

Add the pancetta to the pan and cook over a medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, then reduce the heat and add the onion, garlic, rosemary and oregano. Cook for 10 minutes, until the onion is softened but not coloured. Add the tomato paste, wine, passata and sugar and stir to combine. Season to taste and bring to the boil.

Add the beef cheeks back to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook on the stovetop for 3 hours. Stir in the tomatoes and olives and cook for a further 1 hour. Remove and shred the beef cheeks, then add them back to the sauce.

TO SERVE: Serve over hot pappardelle and top with a spoonful of Salsa Verde and parmesan.

Cook’s note: You can sub out the beef cheeks for stewing steak such as cross-cut, cut into 4cm pieces.

Salsa Verde

1/3 packed cup each parsley and mint leaves, finely chopped
2 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
pinch caster sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
sea salt and ground pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

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