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Beef Cheek Confit with Caramelized Turnips

This beef cheek confit is tender and moist on the inside and crisp on the outside, Served with turnips and garlic scapes caramelized in the juices from the confit, it's a rich and utterly decadent meal.

Course Entree
Cuisine American, Best
Level Intermediate
Main Ingredient Beef
Diet Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 2 days 5 hours 20 minutes
Servings 2 servings


for confit

  • 2 whole beef cheeks
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 3 cloves garlic (smashed)
  • 4 cups rendered beef fat

for caramelized turnips

  • 4 small turnips (peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes)
  • 10 garlic scapes (chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup beef juice (from confit)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  1. Put the soy sauce, sugar, cloves, five spice powder, and garlic in a gallon sized freezer bag and shake to the combine. Add the beef cheeks and seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as you can. Let this cure in the fridge for 2-3 days.
  2. To make the confit, just melt the rendered beef fat it a heavy bottomed pot with a lid that's just big enough to hold the beef cheeks and fat. Put this into an oven preheated to 200 degrees F and cook until a fork easily passes through the meat (about 4-6 hours). Remove the pot from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature, then refrigerate the beef cheek covered in the fat until you are ready to use it (it will last several weeks this way).
  3. On the day you want to eat the confit, take it out of the fridge and gently heat just enough to liquify the fat so you can get the beef cheeks out.
  4. In a sautee pan, heat about a tablespoon of beef fat until hot. Add the turnips and fry until they just start turning tender. Add the sugar and garlic scapes and stir fry until the sugar starts to turn brown and caramelize. Add the beef juice and soy sauce and let it reduce until it forms a thick brown glaze over the turnips and garlic scapes.
  5. While the turnips are cooking, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat until very hot then add the beef cheeks. Allow the confit to brown undisturbed until you have a nice crisp layer on one side then flip and brown on the other side.
  6. Serve the beef cheek confit on top of the bed of caramelized turnips and garlic scapes.