Beef Cheek Roly Poly with Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelised Onions


What a wonderful recipe for the colder months when we turn to slower cooked cuts of meat. The tender braised ox cheek is slow cooked for a few hours with vegetables and seasoning then easily shredded before being rolled with suet pastry and steamed to perfection.

Recipe Courtesy of Leslie Buddington Head Chef at Brocco on the Park


Serves: 12 but can be adjusted to suit guest requirements

Cooking Time: 4 hours



Beef cheeks

  • Vegetable oil
  • 4 ox cheeks
  • 3 carrots
  • 3 white onions
  • 1 leek
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • ½ bunch of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ stick of cinnamon
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 large glass of red wine
  • 2 litres of beef stock

Suet Pastry

  • 1kg self-raising flour
  • 5g salt
  • 500g suet
  • 600ml water

Roasted tomatoes

  • 400g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Caramelised onions

  • 3 large onions
  • Olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3tbsp caster sugar
  • 2tbsp white wine vinegar

Cooking Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees.
  2. Place a little vegetable oil in a hot sauté pan and seal the ox cheeks on both sides until well browned, then remove from the pan.
  3. In the same pan cook the carrots, onions, leek, celery and garlic until golden brown then add the tomato purée and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the thyme, bay leaf, cinnamon, star anise, red wine and reduce the liquid by half.
  5. Transfer the ox cheek, vegetables and wine into a stockpot and add the beef stock.
  6. Cover the dish with greaseproof paper and tin foil then place in the preheated over to cook for 3 hours until the meat is really tender and falling apart.
  7. Take the cheeks out of the liquid and shred the meat into pieces.
  8. Strain the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a saucepan, place on a medium heat and reduce the liquid by half.
  9. Add some of the sauce to the shredded beef cheek and leave to cool.
  10. While cooling make the pastry by adding all the ingredients together and kneading to make a dough.
  11. Roll the dough out to thickness of a pound coin and spread the cooled beef cheek mixture evenly over the dough.
  12. Roll the pastry and beef cheek up to form the roly poly.
  13. Wrap the roly poly in greaseproof paper and then tin foil and steam for 40 minutes.
  14. For the tomatoes, coat with the oil and season with salt and pepper and sprigs of thyme, roast at 180 degrees for about 6 minutes until soft and tender.
  15. For the caramelised onions, thinly slice the onions and add to the oil.
  16. Cook slowly on a low heat until the onions are soft and golden.
  17. Then add the sugar and the vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes whilst stirring.


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