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Beef Cheeks with Rice, Leeks and Thyme

Yordanka KovachevaYordanka Kovacheva
Nadia Galinova
Translated by
Nadia Galinova
Beef Cheeks with Rice, Leeks and Thyme
Image: Yordanka Kovacheva
1 / 4
15 min.
180 min.
195 min.
"Every dish needs spices, in order to be really tasty, so the leeks and thyme in this recipe really add a great flavor to the beef cheeks with rice"


  • beef cheeks - 1.5 lb (700 g)
  • rice - 2 cups
  • leek - 2 stalks
  • oil - 4/5 cup (200 ml)
  • bay leaf - 1 pc.
  • thyme - 4 twigs (dried)
  • black pepper - 5 grains
  • salt - by taste

How to make

This seems like an ordinary dish at first glance, but the meat that is used, makes it unusual and special.

Beef cheeks are muscle, which does not mean that they are tough, on the contrary, they are probably the most tender and delicious meat when cooked properly.

They take more time, but this is compensated by the pleasure of having something really uniquely delicious on your table.

First of all, the beef cheeks need to be cleaned from the skins, unless you have already bought them cleaned. Some say, that this is very important, but I do not think so, because the fine skin that wraps around the cheeks on one side, when cooked, it almost melts and is not felt, because it is not tough and hard, like other parts of the animal.

So, if you decide, remove it, but even if you don't, it's not fatal.

Boil the beef cheeks in plenty of water with the bay leaf, a little of the oil, a clove of thyme and black pepper. Cook them slowly, over medium/low heat, until they become very soft and almost fall apart. It takes at least 2 and a half hours, if they are cut into large pieces, or a little more time if they are whole.

Chop the leeks and stew them in the remaining oil, until they soften.

Pour the rice and fry it, by adding salt and chopped thyme. I added full glasses with a small tip.

Strain the broth from cooking the meat and measure the required amount of it, which requires the proportion of liquid needed for the type of rice you use. If you do not have enough, top up with water.

Transfer the fried rice and leeks into a baking pan and cover it with the liquid. Taste it and add salt, if necessary. Place the meat on top - cut into large pieces. The liquid should almost cover it.

Bake the rice with meat in an oven preheated to 410°F (210°C) for about 25-30 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.

Remove the finished dish from the oven and wrap it with aluminum foil and a towel for 5-10 minutes, then serve the beef cheeks with rice, leeks and thyme.

Enjoy your meal!


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