Looking for some dinner inspiration? Look no further than this mouth-watering slow cooker recipe from our Hervey Bay cookery teacher, Chef Russell.

This delicious winter warmer is a great 'set and forget' recipe, perfect for those cosy nights in.

Serves: 4

Prep-time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 5 1/2 hours


  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 4 large beef cheeks, trimmed of sinew
  • 250gms golden shallots (French onions/pickling onions)
  • 2 Spanish onions

Braising liquor:

  • 60ml (1/4 cup) vegetable oil
  • 2 spring onions, sliced thinly
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10cm piece of ginger, sliced thin
  • 5 cups sarsaparilla flavoured cordial or soft drink
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 80ml low salt soy sauce
  • 80ml balsamic vinegar
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks


  1. Preheat oven to 160oC.
  2. Mix all ingredients of the braising liquor except the garlic, ginger and vegetable oil together.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large cast iron or heavy pan on high and cook off the golden shallots, Spanish onions, garlic and ginger.
  4. Add the cinnamon and star anise, then the rest of the ingredients of the liquor. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. In a large pan, heat the other 60ml of oil and sear the seasoned beef cheeks well to seal them (four to five minutes until browned), then add to braising liquor.
  6. Cover with a cartouche (a round piece of grease-proof paper that is placed on the surface of the liquor to prevent a skin from forming), then foil and cook for four to five hours. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the liquor.
  7. Remove the beef cheeks carefully, then strain the liquor with a fine sieve into a new pan and bring to the boil. Remove the fat from the surface of the liquor and return the beef cheeks to heat through.
  8. Serve with the braising liquor.

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