Chef's Recipes

Beef cheeks with radish, mustard seed and pickled celery salad

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for beef cheeks with radish, mustard seed and pickled celery salad by Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, NSW.

By Shannon Debreceny
  • 1 hr preparation
  • 3 hrs 50 mins cooking plus cooling, pickling
  • Serves 6
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Beef cheeks with radish, mustard seed and pickled celery salad
"This dish also goes really well with soft polenta," says Darren Robertson. "For best results, don't be afraid to really caramelise the cheeks before braising - this will make a huge difference to the result." You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.


  • 1½ tbsp olive oil
  • 6 beef cheeks (280gm each)
  • 1.5 litres (6 cups) veal stock
  • 100 ml shiraz
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 juniper berries
  • 1 cinnamon quill
  • ½ long red chilli
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 1½ tbsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 6 baby radishes, shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pickled celery
  • 6 coriander seeds
  • 100 ml rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 celery stalks, stringy parts removed, cut into 4cm batons
  • 2 tsp lime juice
Burnt onion purée
  • 4 red onions, unpeeled, trimmed, halved
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Desiree potatoes (360gm), thickly sliced
  • 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice


  • 1
    For pickled celery, dry-roast coriander seeds (30-40 seconds), reduce heat to medium, add vinegar and sugar, stir to dissolve sugar, set aside to cool, add celery and lime juice, then refrigerate to pickle (24 hours).
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 180C. Heat 2 tsp oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season beef to taste and cook in batches, turning once, until browned (1-2 minutes each side). Transfer beef to a casserole, add stock, wine, carrot, onion, garlic, juniper berries, cinnamon, chilli, bay leaf and thyme, cover with a lid and braise in oven until very tender (3 hours). Remove beef, set aside and keep warm. Strain liquid (discard solids; reserve 375ml) into a saucepan, reduce over high heat to a thick sauce consistency and keep warm.
  • 3
    Meanwhile, for burnt onion purée, place onion on an oven tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with oil, season to taste, roast until completely caramelised (40-50 minutes) and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, remove skin (discard), transfer to a saucepan, add potato, cover with reserved braising liquid and 375ml water, cook over medium heat until all liquid evaporates (30-40 minutes). Transfer to a food processor, blend until smooth, add butter and lime juice, season to taste and stir to combine.
  • 4
    Cook mustard seeds in a small saucepan of simmering water over medium heat to remove bitterness (1-2 minutes), drain, transfer to a bowl, add radish, parsley, drained pickled celery, 20ml pickling juice and remaining olive oil, season to taste and set aside.
  • 5
    Divide burnt onion purée among plates, top with beef cheeks, spoon a little reduced braising liquid over, top with radish, mustard seed and pickled celery salad and serve.


This recipe is from the August 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
Drink Suggestion: Bright Staircase porter. Drink suggestion by Shannon Debreceny & Jeff Bennett

  • Author: Shannon Debreceny