Main Meals

Beef cheek hand pies

15 minutes
3 hours

“Beef cheek may not be easy to find (you can also use beef shortrib) but it’s worth the hunt. The meat is super tender and succulent when cooked low and slow, and shredding it and stuffing into puff pastry may just be its best incarnation yet.”

Wine/Spirit Pairing
Woolworths Delheim Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

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  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 600 g beef cheeks (or shortrib
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 4 T soya sauce
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 sheet Woolworths frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • flour, for dusting
  • 1 free-range egg, beaten
  • 2 T Szechuan pepper, coarsely ground

1. Heat half the olive oil in a large saucepan. Season the meat and brown, about 3 minutes.

2. Add the celery, onion, carrot and garlic and fry until soft.

3. Stir in the stock, reduce the heat and simmer for 2½ hours, or until the meat falls apart easily.Add a little water if necessary.

4. Remove the meat from the saucepan, reserving the liquid, and place in a bowl. Shredusing two forks.

5. Heat the remainingolive oil in a separate pan. Add the meat, soya sauce, sugar and ½ cup of the cooking liquid and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

6. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Flour a work surface and roll out the pastry. Using a 10 cm bowl as a guide, cut out circles using a sharp knife. Remove any excess pastry and freeze to use another time. Place a heaped spoonful of meat into the centre of each pastry circle and fold in half. Crimp the edges using a fork, making sure to pinch out all the air.

7. Prick the surface of each pie once. Line a baking sheet with baking paper, place the pies on the baking sheet and brush with the egg. Sprinkle with the Szechuan pepper and bake for bake for 12–15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with a dipping sauce.

Find more pie recipes here.

Photograph: Myburgh Du Plessis
Production: Khanya Mzongwana
Food Assistant: Ellah Maepa


Khanya Mzongwana

Recipe by: Khanya Mzongwana

If you're anything like our deputy food editor Khanya Mzongwana, you're obsessed with uniqueness and food with feeling. Cook her family-tested favourites, midweek winners and her mouth-wateringly fresh takes on plant-based eating.

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