Chef Of The Month November 2017: Mark Osborne

Mark Osborne,
The Railway, Nottingham

I've always lived worked and trained in Nottingham and started out at 16 on a YTS (Youth training Scheme showing my age!) at a little French restaurant in Beeston, Les Artistes gourmand.  To progress, I worked in a variety of restaurants throughout Nottingham, leading to a position at Langar Hall.  I took my first sous chef position at Café Bleu, Newark, where I spent two years. I then moved back to the city centre for my first head chef job at The Kean's head in the celebrated Lace Market. From here I returned to Café bleu as Head Chef.  Eight year later, I took a further Head Chef role at Harts restaurant & Hotel which, during my time in the kitchen, won Nottingham's best restaurant award and retained its two coveted rosettes.

Seven years ago, I headed for the riverbank, taking a role as Head Chef and co-owner and running a team of fourteen chefs with responsibility for up to 2,500 covers per week across our bar, restaurant and private function room.  Six months ago I took co-ownership of The Railway, along with business partner David Hage.  Going from strength to strength, we're hoping to achieve Nottingham's Best Pub award in the upcoming Nottinghamshire restaurant awards. 

I'm delighted to share this seasonal recipe with Althams for Braised Beef Cheek.


Braised Beef cheek in Beer, Creamed potatoes, Caramelised carrots, Char grilled Hispie cabbage.

Beef cheek - Season well with sea salt & cracked black pepper, Sear off in a large oven tray to an even colour all round. Add onions, carrot, leek, garlic & thyme, then cover with guest ale from the bar.

Cook at 90c overnight. Remove from the cooking liquor, leave to chill and firm up to make it easier to portion. Strain the cooking liquid and save.

To heat up, oil and colour portions on the blancher grill top, into a sauce pan with the cooking liquor & beef jus, reduce until the beef is covered and has a sticky glaze.

Potatoes - Simply peel, cut evenly and bring to the boil in seasoned water. Simmer until just cooked.

Drain and put through a ricer, to order heat up a little double cream, generous knob of butter and beat in the potatoes until you get a silky, glossy finish. Season with table salt and white pepper.

Peel baby carrots, cook in seasoned water with butter. To reheat, take a little of the saved beef cheek stock with more butter and bring to a foaming consistency, add the carrots and keep moving to a sticky, glossy finish.

Hispie cabbage
Simply peel outer leaves, blanch whole and chill straight away in iced water. Portion into halves once cold, to order season with sea salt and olive oil, Put straight on the char grill to get an even colour & warm through.

In a bowl, place a classic quenelle of mash next to the beef cheek and cabbage,  Sit the carrots on top and finish with the beef glaze. A simple dish with great ingredients, perfect for this time of year.