Matt Tebbutt’s beef cheek burgers with mushroom mayo & pickles recipe

Possibly the best and filthiest burger I’ve ever made! It takes a bit of time and effort as beef cheek needs a long, slow cook to become tender but, believe me, it’s well worth it.

beef cheek burgers
Chris Terry


200g-250g beef cheek
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra if needed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
Small bunch of thyme (reserve 2 sprigs for the mayonnaise)
440ml can Irish stout
250ml beef stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

20g dried trumpet mushrooms, soaked until soft in warm water, squeezed dry and finely chopped
1⁄2 garlic clove, grated
1 tbsp mushroom ketchup (optional)
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and finely chopped
50ml mayonnaise

2 burger buns, cut in half and toasted
1⁄2 bunch of watercress, leaves picked
4 cornichons, sliced

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/130C fan/gas 2. Season the beef cheek with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a heavy-based ovenproof casserole (use one with a lid) over a medium-high heat. Fry the beef cheek on both sides for 5 minutes, or until coloured all over. Remove the beef from the casserole and set aside.
  2. Make sure there is enough oil in the casserole (add a drizzle more if needed), put the casserole back on the hob over a medium heat and add the onion, star anise, bay leaf, celery, garlic and thyme and cook gently for 15-20 minutes. Pour in the stout, turn up the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half, 5-10 minutes.
  3. Pour in the beef stock, return the beef cheek to the casserole, cover with the lid and transfer to the oven to cook for 3-4 hours. When it’s ready, the beef should be very tender when tested with a knife.
  4. Once the beef is tender, remove the casserole from the oven and remove the beef cheek from the cooking liquid, Set it aside on a plate, covered, to rest.
  5. Return the casserole to the hob over a medium-high heat and reduce the cooking liquid until you have a sauce consistency, 10-15 minutes.
  6. Shred or cut the beef cheek, then put it in the casserole with the reduced cooking liquid and keep it warm until ready to serve.
  7. For the mushroom mayonnaise, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. When you’re ready to eat, spread the bases of the toasted buns with the mushroom mayonnaise. Add watercress, a layer of the shredded beef cheek, a little of the sauce, top with the sliced cornichons and cover with the bun tops.

Now buy Matt’s book

matt tebbutt weekend
by Matt Tebbutt will be published by Quadrille on 11 November, price £22. To pre-order a copy for £18.70 until 25 November, go to or call 020 3308 9193. Free UK delivery on orders over £20.