Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximenez
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This is definitely one of my all time favorite dishes to eat. The famous Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximenez Sauce with Cauliflower Puree, from the brilliant Movida Restaurant in Melbourne, Australia. If you are ever in Melbourne, please go to this restaurant. We’ve been lucky to have dined all around the world at some famous places. Hands down, Movida is one of the best!

When we lived in Melbourne this was the special occasion restaurant we would go to. Everything on this Spanish restaurants menu is great. However, the all-time best dish in my opinion – Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximenez Sauce

I remember eating this dish years ago and never having tasted anything like it. This is all due to the use of Pedro Ximenez, a famous fortified Sherry that is velvety rich with a heavy raisin flavor. It’s a fortified wine so you would typically have this as an digestif after your meal. This dish uses it as the main braising liquid, which makes this dish so unbelievably rich and decadent

Why we Love This Dish so Much

We love this dish for a couple of reasons. First, it introduced us to just how amazing Sherry is. So much so, that we’ve visited Jerez, the home of Sherry in the South of Spain twice now. Jerez is a beautiful little city in the South of Spain famous for, well, their Sherry. Jerez is Spanish for Sherry, and it’s the only place in the world where ‘technically’ Sherry can be produced

Last time we visited you could get a glass of any Sherry you want from PX, to Oloroso or Fino for just 50 cents! Hopefully the prices haven’t gone up too much in recent years!

The second reason we love this dish so much. It was the first ‘restaurant’ dish we tried cooking at home and nailed it. To the point that nailing this dish made us realize that elevating home cooking isn’t just for the experts. Anyone can do it! So we hope you love this recipe as much as we do

Braised Beef Cheeks close up tender
The Braised Beef Cheeks will just fall apart they are so tender!

How to make Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximenez Sauce

This recipe is a labor of love. It requires 4 hours to make, so you will need to plan ahead to avoid eating at 11pm! The good news is, while it takes a lot of time to make, most of that time requires no work at all from you! The long cook duration is what is required for the Beef Cheeks to slowly break down in the Pedro Ximenez braising liquid

The braising time can depend on the size and quality of Beef you are using, but we’ve found that the sweet spot is usually between 3 to 4 hours. After that duration of time, the Beef Cheeks will be so tender and fall apart as soon as they’re picked up with tongs. That is exactly the consistency you want!

The braising liquid itself is where all the flavor in this dish lies. It flavors the Beef with a rich and sweet taste and is then further reduced to form the sauce that completes the dish. The ingredients in the braising liquid are very typical of a classically prepared braising stew – Carrots, Onions, Garlic, and some Aromatics (we use Thyme)

What separates this dish from many others is the inclusion of the amazing Pedro Ximenez sherry. This sweet, rich sherry has a higher sugar content than typical Red Wine, which gives this dish it’s unique sweet flavor. Being a Sherry, it also has some wonderful nuttiness to it which pairs very well with the Beef

Once the Beef has been cooked, remove it from the liquid then crank the heat to high. You want to reduce the liquid by about ½ and allow it to thicken. The consistency of the liquid will almost become glaze-like, which you then spoon over the top of the Beef Cheeks right before serving

The Cauliflower Puree is a perfect pairing with the Beef

Equally as impressive as the Beef in this recipe is the wonderful Cauliflower Puree. The Puree is velvety smooth and rich in flavor. This dish is definitely not for those into light, subtle flavors! The Cauliflower Puree is so easy to make. Simply cut the Cauliflower into florets then place into a Saucepan with Heavy Cream and Butter

Cover it and cook for about 30 – 35 minutes until the Cauliflower and beautiful and tender. Allow it to cool a little bit then blitz the whole thing up in the blender to form the Puree. You can prepare the Puree in advance if you like and refrigerate it. Simply warm it up over the stovetop before serving and you’re good to go. If you want to go a bit deeper into this awesome dish, we’ve dedicated an entire recipe to Cauliflower Puree here

The Puree itself is beautiful and can be used as a base or side dish for many recipes. One fun application we’ve used it for is this wonderful Cauliflower and Cheddar Soup. It’s a hearty, warming soup that’s perfect for a cold evening

Recipe Details


4 people

Prep time

15 minutes

Cooking time

4 hours

Total time

4 hours, 15 minutes

Braised Beef Cheeks in Pedro Ximenez Recipe


  • 3 lbs. Beef Cheeks
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz) Pedro Ximenez Shery Wine
  • 2 Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Brown Onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 Garlic Bulb, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups (16 fl. oz) Beef Stock (see recipe)
  • 4 sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 head of Cauliflower, chopped
  • 4 tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 200 ml / 6 fl. oz Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt


  1. Begin by preparing the Beef Cheeks by trimming any excess fat and silver skin. Keep the Cheeks in large pieces, no need to cut them. For 3 lbs. 5-6 pieces is good. Season the Beef Cheeks well with Salt
  2. Heat half the Olive Oil in a large pot or dutch oven over high heat then add the Beef Cheeks. Seer on each side for 2 minutes until browned then remove from heat and set aside
  3. Add the remaining Olive Oil then add the Carrots and Brown Onion. Cook for 10 minutes, then add the Garlic. Cook for a further 2 minutes
  4. Add the Pedro Ximenez, Beef Stock. And Thyme to the pan and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low then add the Beef Cheeks. Plate a lid on the pot and braise for 3-4 hours until the beef is tender and can easily be pulled apart
  5. If the sauce is still quite thin once the Beef is done, simply remove the Beef, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid with the lid off. We want the consistency to easily stick to the back of a spoon. Once the Sauce is done, strain through a fine sieve

Braised Beef Cheeks top down
Delicious Braised Beef Cheeks with an amazing Sherry Sauce and Cauliflower Puree

Instructions Continued

  1. Prepare the Cauliflower Puree by combining the Cauliflower, Butter, Heavy Cream and 1 tsp. Salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over a low temperature for 35 minutes until tender
  2. Blitz the Cauliflower mixture in a food processor until smooth then check for seasoning
  3. Serve by placing the Cauliflower Puree on a plate. Place the Beef Cheeks on top then pour over the beautiful rich sauce and enjoy!

This is a delicious dish which is quite rich and decadent. We would recommend eating it alongside a fresh salad such as the beautiful ones we have here. The recipe will likely yield some leftover Cauliflower Puree. If so, hold onto it and you can use it the next day as the base for our amazing Cauliflower Cheddar Soup recipe which you’ll love

If you enjoyed this beautiful Braised Beef Cheeks with Pedro Ximenez recipe, we’ve got plenty more epic cook ups available to you on this website. Why not give some of these a try?:

Happy Cooking!

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