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Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)

Updated: Feb 24, 2020

Maybe it's because I grew up in a hunting/fishing lifestyle where we ate every part of what we caught, but I really enjoy cooking the "less popular" cuts. While oxtails and short ribs have become so popular that their prices have soared, beef cheeks are still a hidden gem. Like a pork shoulder, if you let your beef cheeks simmer low and slow for hours, an unattractive piece of meat transforms into a rich, melty forkful that puts any pot-roast to shame... and you can buy 3-5 lbs for about $10!

This is a very simple dish that can both impress fancy guests or work as a cozy-up weeknight dinner. It pairs perfectly with all sorts of sides like my Curry-Spiced Mashed Sweet Potatoes or a simple can even put it over ice cream (I don't judge, lol).

What I really like about this dish is the way that it infuses nutrients from every ingredient! Collagen from bone broth. Anti-inflammatory properties from garlic and onions. ... And let's not forget about the probiotics in red wine!!

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)
Trim off the heavier pieces of fat from the beef cheeks.

Don't over-trim... you need some far for flavor! Just remove the excessively fatty areas life the lover left portion of the photo above.

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)
Sear the beef cheek on both sides.

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)
Lightly saute veggies in the rendered fat from the beef cheek and transfer everything to your slow cooker.

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 6 hours.

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)

I purchased these HUGE beef cheeks from WildForkFoods . If you live in Florida, you MUST check them out for amazing food and free next day delivery!

Print Recipe

Slow-Cooker Beef Cheeks (Gluten-Free, No soy/dairy/grains)


  • 3 T olive oil, divided

  • 3 lb beef cheeks

  • 1 onion (white or yellow), chopped

  • 3 celery stalks , roughly diced

  • 3 carrots, roughly diced. (I used a small bag of multi-color carrots to add different vitamins into the sauce but the flavor profile will be the same if you use one color or many).

  • 4 garlic cloves , minced

  • 6 stems of fresh thyme

  • 4 dried bay leaves

  • 1 cup beef broth (or purchased stock)

  • 2 cups red wine (ie: cabernet sauvignon or merlot)

  • 2 - 3 tsp salt and pepper, divided.


  • Pat the beef cheeks dry and trim off and large, fatty membrane.

  • Use 1 tsp each of the salt and pepper to season the beef on all sides.

  • Heat 2 T olive oil in slow-cooker pot over range heat and sear the beef cheeks on each side until nicely browned. (You might have to work in batches so the pot is not crowded. (If the pieces are too close together, they will steam and not develop the tasty crust)

  • Remove beef cheeks onto a plate to rest.

  • Turn down the heat to medium high and heat the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil. Add garlic and onion. Sauté for 3 minutes until onion becomes translucent.

  • Stir in the celery and carrots. Sauté for another 3 minutes. (The carrots will finish cooking in the sauce)

  • Add the beef cheeks back to the slow cooker

  • Pour the wine into the slow cooker with the beef cheeks and veggies, then add all of the remaining ingredients, starting with a pinch of salt and pepper (add more to taste later).

  • Cook low and slow in the slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or High for 6 hours (times may vary depending on the size of your cheeks... but you really can not over-cook them unless you majorly screw up and forget them for a couple days so letting them go longer is not a big deal).

  • Open the slow cooker and remove the beef cheeks. Discard the thyme stems and bay leaves.

  • Transfer the remaining liquid into saucepan and simmer on the stove at medium high until the sauce turns a darker brown colour and reduces by about 1/3 (to a gravy consistency that you like). This should take about 10 minutes.

  • Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt and pepper) to your preferred taste.

  • Remove the sauce from heat, return beef cheeks to the sauce, cover and keep warm until ready to serve.


Serve your beef cheeks with savory Curried Mashed Sweet Potatoes or Crispy Pan-Fried Potatoes and broccoli for the perfect balance of decadent and light. Drizzle with remaining sauce and chopped parsley or cilantro.

Did you try this recipe? Did you make a tweak that you want to share? Please sign-up to post your pics and comments!

Keywords: beef, slow cooker, beef cheeks, gluten free dinner

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