top of page

Recipe: Matt Budden - Braised Dorset Beef Cheeks, Parmesan Arancini, Watercress Pea & Spinach Puree

Chef Matt Budden creates a mouthwatering dish using the best local Dorset ingredients.

nosetotail photography

Makes 8

Parmesan Arancini


1 onion chopped

100 g Parmesan cheese

30 g unsalted butter

Olive oil

250 g risotto rice

1 big pinch of saffron

125 ml white wine

1 litre hot vegetable stock

1-litre vegetable oil, for frying

½ a bunch of fresh oregano, (15g)

150 g plain flour

3 large free-range eggs

300 g fine dried breadcrumbs


Place the butter in a large pan over a low heat with a drizzle of olive oil, add the onions and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft but not coloured.

Turn the heat up to medium, pour in the risotto rice and stir for a few minutes, to ensure every grain is coated, then add the saffron and stir well.

Pour in the wine and let it bubble away for a couple of minutes, stirring regularly. Start ladling in the stock bit by bit, stirring it through the rice and allowing each ladleful to become absorbed before adding the next. Continue until the rice is cooked through – about 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the grated Parmesan & oregano, then leave to cool. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.

To form the Arancini, scoop a portion of the cooled risotto into your hand and roll into large ball shapes and chill in the fridge

Place the flour, beaten eggs and breadcrumbs into separate shallow bowls. Carefully dip each Arancini ball into the flour, shaking off any excess, then the egg, and finally the crumbs, ensuring the rice is completely coated. Set aside.

Pre Heat the oi to 175 degrees Celsius - Carefully lower in the Arancini with a slotted spoon, in batches of four, and deep-fry for 8 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

Transfer to a double layer of kitchen paper to drain.


Pea & Spinach Puree


200g Frozen Peas

100ml Water

20g Butter

Large handful of Spinach

Salt and Pepper


Put the Peas, Water and Butter into a saucepan with good pinch of Salt and Pepper and bring to the boil.

Boil for 1 minute then transfer into a blender with the Spinach and Blitz.


Braised Beef Cheeks


2 beef cheeks, (around 600g)

4 shallots peeled and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped

40 g unsalted butter

½ bunch of fresh thyme

150 ml quality red wine

300 ml beef stock


Preheat the oven to 140ºC/275ºF/gas 1.

Using a sharp knife, remove the sinew from the beef cheeks and cut into 8 equal size pieces. Place the butter in a medium ovenproof casserole dish over a medium heat. Sear the meat all over, until browned on all sides, then leave to one side.

Add the shallots and fry for 5 minutes, or until slightly browned. Stir in the garlic and pick the thyme leaves straight into the pan. Fry for a couple of minutes, then return the beef cheeks to the pan and pour in the red wine.

Bring to the boil, cook the wine for around 5 minutes, until reduced by half. Pour in enough beef stock to cover, and turn up the heat. Bring back to the boil, season, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover with a tight layer of tinfoil and a lid, then place the pan in the oven and slowly braise for 4 hours, or until incredibly tender.

Remove the cheeks from the casserole dish, then place the dish over a high heat. Cook rapidly until the sauce thickens.


To Plate

To plate spoon the puree on to the base of the plate and top with the crisp Arancini & beef cheek, finish with some of the beef cheek sauce & fresh Dorset watercress


Matt Budden

Executive Chef at Schpoons & Forx

Matt Budden started his career training in several Michelin starred country house hotels and used this experience to further his culinary knowledge whilst travelling around the globe. Matt’s culinary repertoire flourished whilst working first-class kitchens in Australia, New Zealand and Vietnam before heading back to Europe.

He has headed up many prestigious kitchen brigades achieving 2AA rosettes and being Michelin recommended for the last 10 years.

In 2015, Matt took over the kitchen at Schpoons & Forx, a vibrant restaurant set within the Hilton Bournemouth. Matt specialises in serving modern British cuisine with an emphasis on local seafood, serving the best of British produce in a relaxed stunning location.

Instagram: @chefmattbudden

Screen Shot 2022-05-26 at 15.00.20.png
bottom of page