Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Braised beef cheeks with pear and bitter chocolate sauce

Prep time overnight
Cook time overnight
Serves 4
From Great British Food Revival
Savoury bitter chocolate sauce and butter-fried pear transform this slow cooked beef dish into a gourmet experience.


  1. For the purée, soak the beans in water overnight then drain well. Place the beans in a pan of fresh water and bring to the boil. Add the bay leaves and rosemary sprig, cover with greaseproof paper and simmer until cooked.

  2. Remove the bay leaves and rosemary and drain the beans over a large bowl to reserve the cooking liquid. Place the beans in a blender, season with a little salt and add the butter and cream. Blend until you have a silky smooth purée, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary, and set aside.

  3. Peel and core the pears, cut into 1cm/½in cubes and cover with the lemon juice and a little water until needed. Reserve the pear skin.

  4. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Season the beef cheeks with salt and fry in a little oil in a large ovenproof pan until browned on all sides. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside. Fry the onion and garlic in the same pan until brown then return the meat to the pan and deglaze with the port and orange juice. Lower the heat and reduce the liquid until it is syrupy then add the stock, pepper, orange zest and pear skin. Cover with greaseproof paper and place in the oven for about three hours or until the meat is very tender.

  5. Cook the onions with a knob of butter and a little water. In another pan, fry the pear cubes in a knob of butter.

  6. When the beef is cooked, remove from the pan. Place a sieve over a bowl and strain the cooing liquid. Pour the liquid into a clean pan and reduce to a syrupy consistency then whisk in the remaining butter and the chocolate.

  7. To serve, dress the plate with a spoonful of the bean purée, the cooked pears and button onions. Lay a piece of beef cheek on each plate and spoon over the sauce.


For the white bean purée

  • 85g/3oz dried white beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • sprig of rosemary
  • sea salt
  • small knob of butter
  • 200ml/7fl oz double cream, heated to a boil

For the beef cheeks

  • 2 pears
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 beef cheeks, trimmed and cut into 4 equal-sized pieces
  • sea salt
  • oil, for frying
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • 125ml/4fl oz port
  • 1 orange, juice and zest
  • 1 litre/2 pints beef stock
  • 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 16 button onions, peeled
  • 50g/1¾oz butter
  • 60g/2¼oz chocolate, 70% cocoa solids, broken into squares

Shopping List

Braised beef cheeks with pear and bitter chocolate sauce

Fruit and vegetables

Tins, packets and jars

Cooking ingredients

Biscuits, snacks and sweets


Dairy, eggs and chilled

Meat, fish and poultry

This link may stop to work if/when the BBC removes the recipes
This site is under development - You can use it, but some things are not completed and may not be quite right!