Try these beef cheek tacos with green salsa, then check out our birria tacos, braised ox cheeks, spitfire-braised ox cheek and find inspiration for more taco recipes.


  • 750g beef cheeks
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 tbsp ancho chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 500ml chicken stock


  • 100g green chillies, stems removed, deseeded
  • 1 avocado, peeled and stone removed
  • 2 limes, zested
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 20g coriander
  • 75ml rapeseed oil
  • corn tortillas, to serve


  • STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Season the beef cheeks well. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a large, heavy-based pot over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, brown the beef cheeks until they have formed a dark crust all over, being careful not to burn them. Remove the meat to a plate.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil and cook the onions and garlic for 3-4 mins, or until slightly coloured. Add the spices and dried herbs, cook for 1 min, then add the vinegar and tomatoes, deglazing the pan. Add the stock and arrange the beef so it’s about three-quarters submerged. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 3 hrs, or until the meat is very tender and falling apart.

  • STEP 3

    Meanwhile, blitz all the salsa ingredients, plus 1 tsp of sea salt, together in a blender. Season to taste.

  • STEP 4

    Carefully remove the cheeks from the pot and set aside. Strain the braising liquid into a pan and return to the stove. Reduce the liquid for 10 mins until about a quarter remains. Return the beef cheeks to the liquid and shred using forks, mixing well. Taste and season if necessary.

  • STEP 5

    Serve with tortillas, the salsa and any other toppings of your choice.

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