Beef cheeks ragout ‘a la façon du Languedoc’

Date: 02-04-2020

As the nights start to get cooler, I enjoy making this hearty classic dish from the Languedoc for my family.

By our Chef Gilles Papst (L'Atelier du Fromage)

Serves 6-8 people

  • 30g dried mushrooms, I prefer porcini but shiitake can work also here
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • ½ leek, sliced
  • 140g Pancetta, sliced
  • 1 head of garlic, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 chili, sliced
  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise then sliced
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • oil for cooking
  • 1.2 kg beef cheeks, cut into bite sized pieces. You can also use any braising meat, such as chuck steak or beef ribs
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 can of whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 150ml red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • water
  • 1 generous teaspoon of herbes de Provence
  • Italian parsley, chopped, to garnish
  • Spring onions, chopped, to garnish


  1. Preheat Oven to 160 degrees, fan bake.

  2. Add the mushrooms to a bowl of warm water to revive.

  3. In a large pan, heat some oil and add the onion, leek, pancetta, garlic, chili, carrot, cloves and bay leaf and cook on a medium to sweat them.

  4. Once the ingredients are properly sweated (they will be soft and slightly caramelised), add the smoked paprika and stir to incorporate. Add the tin of tomatoes, the cup of crushed tomato, porcini mushrooms and red wine. Reduce for 2 minutes.

  5. Season the beef cheeks with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then sear in a separate non-stick pan with a little oil. Add them to the pan with the vegetables and stir gently to combine.

  6. Deglaze the beef cheek pan with a glass of water (200 ml).

  7. Add the liquid to the pan, transfer everything to an oven safe dish with a lid.

  8. Put the dish covered into the oven for 3 hours to 3 1/2 hours or until the meat is tender. Check every 1/2 hour and if necessary, add a little water at a time; every oven is different.

  9. You don’t want the sauce to be too runny, we want to concentrate the flavours

  10. Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and green spring onions

I paired this with a rich and full Languedoc red, I chose one of my own favourites from the cellar, a 2015 Domaine Alquier Faugères "La Maison Jaune".