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Beef Cheeks with sarsaparilla

Introducing my personal favourite savoury dish. I've been making beef cheeks with sarsaparilla for special occasions or dinner parties years before my children were born.  

The original recipe contained some of the top 10 food allergens, and I've changed it here to be top 10 allergen-free.

Beef cheeks are a cheaper cut of meat (winning!) and require slow cooking to make it tender. Ask your butcher for beef cheeks if they don't usually have them on display.

I use Bundaberg sarsaparilla as the website FAQ regarding allergens states "All Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Products are free of Allergens as defined by the Australian and New Zealand Food Standards Code (Standard 1.2.3 (4))." 

It is best to prepare this dish in advance as it does take time to make; however, it's worth it! Simply reheat on the day. 

People with or without food allergies love this dish and I'm always asked for the recipe when it has been served. Once kids hear the dish contains 'soft drink', they want to taste it and hopefully they enjoy it too.

I usually serve the beef cheeks with a top 10 allergen-free mashed potato made in the thermomix and greens. However, you could serve with rice and greens as a different option. 

Remember to follow the allergy golden rule and always check ingredients labels before using a product as allergen statements do change from time to time.

Happy cooking! We hope you love this recipe too!

Sarsaparilla Beef Cheeks 


  • 4 large beef cheeks (approx. 180 gm each)
  • 12 golden shallots peeled and left whole
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 brown onions sliced thinly
  • 6 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
  • 10cm piece of ginger sliced
  • 5 cups Bundaberg Sarsaparilla
  • ¾ cup coconut amino sauce (the original recipe used soy sauce)
  • 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar (check ingredients label to ensure safe as ingredients can vary)
  • 6 star anise
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Sea salt
  • Ground black pepper


  • Step 1 - Preheat oven to 160 C
  • Step 2 - Use a large ovenproof saucepan to heat the olive oil over medium heat
  • Step 3 - Add sliced brown onion, garlic and ginger and cook until caramelised and browned.
  • Step 4 - Add Bundaberg Sarsaparilla, coconut amino sauce, balsamic, star anise and cinnamon
  • Step 5 - Bring the liquid to a boil before reducing heat and simmering for 10 minutes
  • Step 6 - Season the beef cheeks with salt and pepper and then brown all sides in a hot frying pan
  • Step 7 - Place beef cheeks in braising liquid and cover with a sheet of baking paper and then cover the saucepan with a tight fitting sheet of aluminium foil
  • Step 8 - Braise in the oven for 4-5 hours.
  • Step 9 - Remove from the oven and allow braise to cool before removing beef cheeks
  • Step 10 - Strain the liquid into another saucepan and skim the fat off the surface
  • Step 11 - Bring to a boil and add golden shallots. Reduce the liquid by half over high heat
  • Step 12 - Return beef to braise to warm through
  • Step 13 - Serve with your choice of sides

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