How To Make… Scallops with Braised Ox Cheek

As the first in a series of new tasting menus, Roast Restaurant in Borough Market (famed for their roast dinners, unsurprisingly) ran a ‘Horn to Hoof’ menu throughout February. Using beef that’s exclusively sourced from Sussex-based farmers, the menu was devised by head chef Stuart Cauldwell not only to showcase the impressive breed of cattle, but to celebrate the cow in its entirety.

In keeping with the ‘Horn to Hoof’ theme, dishes available included the likes of oxtail broth with smoked brisket and truffle ravioli; Sussex tongue and cheek porter pie with horseradish and bone marrow; and scallops with carrot and mustard purée, topped with braised ox cheek and hazelnut and sage dressing. The recipe for the latter is featured here, making great use of one of the cow’s tastiest yet most under-appreciated cuts


Serves 6

For the Braised Ox Cheek

Ox cheek, 1 – ask your butcher for it to be trimmed and tied

Stout or Guinness, 500ml

Garlic, 1 clove, peeled and crushed

Thyme, 3 sprigs

Bay leaf, 1

Vegetable oil, for frying

Butter, 20g

Onion, 1, peeled and roughly chopped

Carrot, 1, peeled and roughly chopped

Celery, 1 head, roughly chopped

Leek, ½ , roughly chopped

Plain flour, 50g, plus extra to lightly flour the meat

Tomato puree, 10g

Veal stock, 1litre

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Scallops

Scallops, 24

Vegetable oil, for frying

Butter, 20g, to finish

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season

For the Carrot and Mustard Purée

Carrots, 250g, peeled and chopped

Chicken stock, 40ml

Whipping cream, 15ml

Dijon mustard, 25g

Wholegrain mustard, ½ tsp

For the Hazelnut and Sage Dressing

Rapeseed oil, 50ml

Chopped sage, 10g, chopped

Hazelnuts, 30g, toasted and chopped

Baby watercress

To Prepare the Ox Cheek

Place the ox cheek into a bowl with the Guinness, garlic, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and marinate in the fridge for two days.

Pre-heat oven to 150C.

Drain the meat in a colander, reserving the marinade, and dry the pieces of ox cheek with some kitchen paper.

Lightly flour the meat, season with salt and pepper and fry a few pieces at a time in a heavy frying pan until nicely browned before removing from the pan.

Heat the butter in the same saucepan and lightly caramelise the mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery and leek) for a few minutes until golden. Add the flour and tomato puree and stir over a low heat for 2 minutes.

Slowly add the marinade stirring constantly to avoid lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer until it has reduced by half.

Add the meat stock and the ox cheek, bring back to the boil.

Transfer to a deep braising tray, cover with a lid or foil and braise in the oven for about 3 hours until the meat is tender. It’s difficult to put an exact time on braised meats, sometimes an extra half an hour may be required depending on the meat itself. The best way to check is by actually tasting the meat.

Once the meat is cooked remove it from the sauce. Strain the sauce through a chinois. The sauce should have thickened sufficiently during the cooking process but if not it may need to be reduced to the correct the consistency

Break up the ox cheek into the thickened sauce to serve.

To Prepare the Scallops

Clean the scallops – the roe can be used if you wish.

Add vegetable oil to a very hot frying pan

Sear the scallops for 2 minutes on both sides until golden

Add the butter to finish off until the scallops turn a light golden brown

Transfer the scallops from the frying pan to a kitchen towel

Season and place on the serving dish

To Prepare the Carrot and Mustard Purée

Place the carrots in a saucepan and cover with chicken stock and whipping cream. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for around 6-8 minutes until soft.

Drain the excess liquor and place the warm carrots into a food processor.

Purée until smooth, adding a little of the reserved liquor as required. Stir in the mustards to taste.

To Prepare the Hazelnut and Sage Dressing

Combine all ingredients and drizzle over the scallops.

Garnish with baby watercress

To Serve

Smear some carrot and mustard purée on to the plate, then top with the scallops that have been drizzled with the hazelnut and sage dressing. Finally, top with the braised ox cheek and a drizzle of the ox cheek sauce before serving.

Further information on Roast Restaurant can be found at

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