Braised beef in honey & soy

This sticky braise is a great way to feed a table full of people, and you can make it ahead for extra ease too

  • Prep:30 mins
    Cook:4 hrs
  • Serves 6
  • More effort

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 545
  • fat 22g
  • saturates 7g
  • carbs 17g
  • sugars 15g
  • fibre 2g
  • protein 61g
  • salt 3.03g


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ kg braising beef, preferably 2 large beef cheeks, trimmed and halved
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly chopped
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • small bunch thyme
  • 5 coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 50ml sherry vinegar
  • 60ml soy sauce
  • 200ml Madeira
  • 3 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 800ml chicken stock
  • 3 heads bok choi, quartered
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • small piece ginger
  • 100ml chicken stock


Making ahead
The flavours in this dish will actually improve if it’s made ahead. The meat will keep in the fridge for up to four days or freeze for up to two months. To serve, simply defrost and gently reheat over a low heat.Spring onion mash
Peel 1.5kg floury potatoes and cut into chunks. Boil for 15-20 mins until tender. Drain and mash well or pass through a potato ricer into another pan. Place over a low heat and stir in 200ml double cream, 100ml milk and 100g butter until completely mixed and piping hot. Just before serving, stir through a bunch finely sliced spring onions. Can be made 1 day ahead and reheated with a touch more butter – just add the spring onions at the last moment.


  1. Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat the oil in a large ovenproof casserole or sauté pan, then spend a good 10 mins browning the meat well on all sides.

  2. Scatter the vegetables, thyme, coriander seeds and cloves in amongst the meat and continue to cook over a high heat for 10 mins until browned.

  3. Pour over the Sherry vinegar, soy sauce and Madeira, and drizzle over the honey. Stir everything together, then reduce over a high heat until it’s sticky and syrupy and the meat is coated really well. Stir in the tomato purée.

  4. Pour over the stock and bring to the simmer. Stir, then taste and lightly season with salt accordingly (it may not need any as the soy is already salty). Cover the pan and place in the oven for 2½-3 hrs, stirring once or twice, until the meat is really tender. Remove the meat to another pan or container. Boil the sauce for 10 mins until sticky, then strain it over the meat.

  5. About 20 mins before serving, drizzle the bok choi with half the oil and the soy sauce and dust with the icing sugar. Grate over a little of the ginger, then toss well until completely coated.

  6. Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan, add the bok choi and cook until the sugar coating starts to caramelise. Pour in the stock and simmer for 5 mins until tender. Reheat the mash and the beef. You are now ready to serve.

  7. Lift the meat out of the sauce and carve into thick slices. Place a large spoonful of mash on the side of each plate. Lay a few slices of meat on the mash. Sit two bok choi quarters on the other side of the plate and spoon over the sauce.

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