A firm favourite on the Pickles menu, there is a little bit of work involved to put these delicious morsels together, but this can all be done ahead of time. Meaning you can have all the prep done a day in advance. Just deep fry before serving and then sit down and enjoy them with your guests and a glass.  Mat recommends a Central Otago Pinot Noir like Burn Cottage Moonlight Race.


2kg beef cheek
1 brown onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery roughly chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp of black peppercorn

Place the beef cheek, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaves and peppercorns in an oven dish. Cover with water and wrap the dish with tin foil. Place the oven dish in a preheated oven at 170°C and cook for 2.5 hours till the cheeks are falling apart. If they don’t fall apart, cook them a bit longer (the bigger the cheeks the longer they will take).

When the cheeks are cooked, strain the liquid in a pot and reduce the liquid by half to be used to make the roux.

Remove the layer of fat off the cheeks and break them apart.


100g butter
1 small brown onion, finely chopped
½ cup all-purpose flour
4-5 cups of reduced stock from cooking the beef cheeks

In a separate pot, add the butter to melt, add the onion and cook on low heat till they are translucent. Add flour and keep stirring till the flour browns.

When the flour is brown, add the stock little by little, whisking it into the flour mixture (use a long whisk because it will be steaming and boiling vigorously).


1 tsp ras al hanout (available from Vetro)
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tbsp parsley

When all the stock is incorporated, add the beef cheek, ras al hanout, parsley and white pepper and season the mixture with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into a baking paper lined oven dish and fill with the mixture to about 2.5 cm high and cover with baking paper.

Cool this mixture down till it is firm and set. At this stage cut the mixture in cubes of 2.5 cm. You can leave this for a few days or freeze till needed.


1 cup of all-purpose flour
4 egg whites
2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs

Season the flour with pepper and salt, blitz the Panko in a food processor till nice and fine, whisk the egg white with a tablespoon of water and a pinch of salt till liquid.

Flour the croquettes and shake the excess off. Wet your hands with the egg white and rub all the crevasses with egg white. Drop them into the Panko and cover them. Repeat egg white and Panko just before frying.


Deep fryer or pot with canola oil

Al Brown’s habanero mustard

Deep fry the croquettes at 170°C till golden brown and serve with habanero mustard.

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