Our team spent a day with HG Walter in their kitchen watching them create a mouth-watering recipe for four meats - lamb, beef, duck and pork. We searched our range to find the ultimate wine to go with each dish, resulting in four delicious pairings. 

Our focus today is on beef and we weren't disappointed when HG Walter's head chef cooked us tender braised ox cheek with truffle and porcini polenta. We've paired it with the exceptional 2019 Chianti Classico from Fontodi - trust us, this is an incredible pairing and one you'll instantly want to recreate at home.

HG Walter are kindly offering all Marlo Wine customers 20% off your first order with them. Just use the code: MARLO20 on any order above £70 to get 20% off. Here’s the link for ox cheek

The 2019 Chianti Classico from Fontodi is an excellent pairing for braised ox cheek, truffle, and porcini polenta for several reasons. It is made from 100% Sangiovese, grown in the heart of the Chianti Classico region of Tuscany, Italy. Sangiovese is known for its medium-to-full-bodied character, high acidity and earthy flavours, making it an ideal match for the rich, meaty flavours of the braised ox cheek.

The wine has a deep ruby red colour with aromas of ripe red fruit, spices, and a hint of oak. On the palate it is well-structured, with firm tannins and a long, persistent finish which will cut through the rich, fatty flavours of the ox cheek. The wine's acidity also helps to balance the dish's creaminess and richness, making it a harmonious pairing.

Moreover, the wine's earthy and spicy notes complement the umami flavours of truffle and porcini, making it a perfect match for the polenta. The wine's medium-to-full-bodied character and balanced tannins can also hold up to the dish's intense flavours without overpowering it. Overall, this is quite simply a pairing you do not want to miss.

Braised ox cheek, truffle & porcini polenta (serves 4)

Equipment needed

  • Medium saucepan
  • Large casserole pot
  • Sieve
  • Whisk


  • Vegetable oil
  • A large knob of butter
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Fresh porcini mushrooms, if possible (king oysters are a good substitute) 

Braised ox cheek

  • 1kg trimmed beef cheek
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 200ml red wine
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A few sprigs of thyme

Truffle and porcini polenta

  • 25/30g dried porcini mushroom
  • 20g parmesan
  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 300ml milk
  • 100g polenta
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • Tablespoon of white truffle oil

Set your oven to 105C (fan assisted, gas mark 4).

Take your ox cheeks, trimming off any pieces of silver skin or sinew. Cut the cheeks so they are roughly halved. Season with salt and pepper and sear in a hot pan with a little vegetable oil. Turn and continue to sear until golden brown on all sides.

Remove the cheeks from the pan and set aside. Add the chopped vegetables to the pan with the beef juices and cook on a medium heat for a few minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown. Add in the wine and beef stock, bring to a boil and then return the seared cheeks back to the pan. The cheeks should be 3 quarters submerged, so add a little water if needed. Cover the pot with a lid or tightly wrapped in foil and put in the oven, for 3 and a half to 4 hours. They should have a little give when you squeeze them, but not be soft enough for you to easily shred. Bear in mind that as they rest in the cooking liquor, they will become even more tender.

Once cooked, remove the lid or foil, and let the pan sit at room temperature for a good 30 to 40 minutes. After this time, remove the cheeks from the liquor and set to one side. Strain the cooking liquor through a sieve to remove the vegetables and add the stock to a pan, reducing until it can coat the back of a spoon. Return the cheeks to the reduced glaze and set aside until ready to plate.  

Pour the milk into a small saucepan and add the dried mushrooms, garlic, thyme and butter. Gently heat the milk but do not boil. It should be warm enough to slightly evaporate, but not bubble. Remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 20 minutes.

Pass the infused milk through a sieve and return to the saucepan. Whilst whisking, add the polenta bit by bit, keeping the saucepan on low heat and whisking regularly to avoid the polenta sticking. The polenta will thicken after just a few minutes but will continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes. You’ll notice that it starts to become a lot smoother the longer you cook it, but if it does start to become too dry or stodgy, add a little water to loosen it.

Finish with freshly grated parmesan, and a tablespoon of truffle oil and season to taste.

To finish the dish, heat the cheeks up in the glaze for a few minutes, basting the cheeks as the stock continues to reduce, but be careful not to reduce the sauce too much or burn the pan.

If you have them, finish the dish with a few fresh porcini mushrooms (or another meaty mushroom variety), simply pan-fried in butter.

Spoon your polenta onto plates, add the cheeks with glaze, top with the mushrooms and sprinkle a few freshly picked thyme leaves to add a bit of freshness to a very hearty dish.

HG Walter are kindly offering all Marlo Wine customers 20% off your first order with them. Just use the code: MARLO20 on any order above £70 to get 20% off. Here’s the link for ox cheek


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