Recipe: Tipico’s Guancia (Slow-braised beef cheek with polenta)

This recipe is from the new menu at Tipico, a favourite Italian restaurant in Windsor, Melbourne, which opened in 2018 and has been delighting diners with true Italian hospitality.


Follow the easy step-by-step instructions to re-create this hearty winter warmer at home.


Serves 4



Ox Cheek

1kg ox cheek

2 small carrots, diced

1 small brown onion, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

50ml olive oil

350ml red wine

200ml vegetable or beef stock

1½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

2.5g sage, finely chopped

2.5g rosemary, finely chopped

2.5g thyme, finely chopped



2.1L water (or vegetable stock for extra flavour)

350g instant polenta

70g parmesan cheese, grated

70g unsalted butter

2½ tsp salt



Ox Cheek

1. Heat a non-stick fry pan with some olive oil.

2. Season ox cheeks with salt and add them to the hot pan, sealing both sides.

3. Repeat until all the ox cheeks have been sealed. Remove and set aside.

4. In a large pot with some olive oil, place the carrot, onion, celery, sage, rosemary and thyme and cook until they are fragrant and starting to brown.

5. Add the sealed ox cheek and red wine. Simmer until the alcohol has evaporated and the wine has reduced by half.

6. Add stock and season with salt and pepper.

7. Leave covered on a low heat for 4–5 hrs (or until the ox cheeks are tender). If it gets too dry, add more stock. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced to a thick sauce.



1. Bring the water to the boil and add salt.

2. Add the instant polenta slowly, whisking to avoid any lumps, and simmer for 3 mins while the polenta thickens.

3. Add the parmesan and butter and whisk for two minutes until everything is combined. Remove from heat and leave to rest for 10 mins.


Plating up

Serve the beef cheeks over the top of the polenta, drizzling the sauce from the pan over the top.