Beef cheek and oysters – Sat Bains’ signature dish

Beef and oysters is a classic British dish. We braise the beef cheek in beer and honey, so it gives bitter and sweet flavours. The secret of the dish is the marinade: you need to make sure you marinate in a good quality beer, and then cook the beef in the pressure cooker very gently. You’ll end up with an unctuous and tender piece of cheek. There’s an emulsion of oysters, so you get a great umami hit, and then the dish is finished with some sea vegetables, and onions marinated in pickling juice.

Beef marinade

2 bottles of Roaring Meg beer

2 sprigs of thyme

2 sprigs of rosemary

10 juniper berries, crushed

8 cloves of garlic, crushed

50g honey

500ml Aspall’s organic apple cyder vinegar

Beef cheek

3kg beef cheek, silver skin and sinew removed, cut into 10 portions

500ml brown chicken stock

500ml white chicken stock

Pickled shallots

1 large shallot, thinly sliced on a mandoline

50ml pickling juice

Sea vegetables

20g sea purslane

20g rock samphire

20g stone crop

Oyster emulsion

2 egg yolks

2 oysters

Squeeze of lemon juice

200ml parsley oil

Fine salt to taste

To serve

100 wild garlic flowers


Beef Marinade

Mix all the ingredients together and store in a container until needed.

Beef cheek

Place the beef cheek in the marinade for 24 hours, drain and strain the liquid and pour it into a pressure cooker. Reduce to a glossy syrup without the lid on. Add the brown and white chicken stock and bring up to the boil. Take off the heat. Heat a pan and sauté the beef cheek until brown all over. Add this to the pressure cooker along with any pan juices. Bring up to full pressure and then turn down the heat a little and cook for 45 minutes. Take off the heat and leave to cool in the pan; the cheek will be reheated in this later.

Pickled shallots

Place the shallots in a sous vide bag and cover with some of the pickling juice. Compress on full and leave in the bag until needed.

Sea vegetables

Blanch the sea vegetables in boiling salted water. Refresh in ice-cold water. Strain through a colander and store in an airtight container until needed.

Oyster emulsion

Place the egg yolks, oysters and lemon juice in a blender and blend on its lowest speed. Once emulsified slowly add the oil until it forms a mayonnaise-like consistency. Pass the emulsion and check the seasoning. Store in an airtight container until needed.

AA Chef of the Year Award 2016

Sat Bains is shortlisted for the AA Chef of the Year Award 2016. Voted for by chefs all around the UK, this year’s winner will be announced at theAA Hospitality Awardson 26th September.

Find out more about the culinary career of Sat Bains