Take the beef cheeks and trim the large fatty membrane off (or ask one of our butchers to do this for you). If the cheeks are whole, cut in half so you have four pieces of meat. Place the beef cheeks in a container and add the wine, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours but a minimum of 3.
Preheat the oven to 1460C/ Fan 140C/ gas 3. Remove the meat and reserve the marinade. Heat the oil in a frying pan and brown the cheeks, one at a time and then place in a casserole dish. Finely chop the onion and fry in the meat juices and then add to the casserole. Add the marinade and balsamic vinegar to the pan use to deglaze. Bring the mixture to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add to the casserole with the pint of stock and bay leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the casserole dish and place in the oven for 4 hours. Turn the meat every hour.
Trim the tops off the beetroot so only an inch remains. Leave the roots on. Place in a roasting tray with the oil, garlic and thyme and roast for 2 hours at 160C/ fan 140C/ gas 3. Remove once beetroot feels tender to the touch.
After 4 hours remove the lid to the casserole and cook for the remaining 2 hours uncovered. Baste the meat regularly. Once the beetroot is tender to the touch it is ready. Remove and allow to cool slightly.
For the fondant potatoes peel the potatoes one at a time and cut down into rectangular shapes. Make the potatoes even in size and halve them. Melt the butter over a medium heat in a saucepan. Stand the potatoes in the butter once it is bubbling, leave them to brown for 5-6 minutes without moving them. Then turnover and leave for another 5-6 minutes. Then add the stock (CAUTION: the butter will spit when it comes into contact with the stock), garlic and thyme. Reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Cover the pan and leave the stock to reduce. The potatoes are cooked when a knife can easily be inserted into the side of them (around 10 minutes). Remove from the heat but leave in the pan to stay warm.
Turn off the oven. Peel the beetroot, being careful not to burn your fingers. Slice thinly and place on an oven tray and place in the oven to stay warm.
Remove the beef. Place 10 ladles of the liquid into a frying pan. Cover the meat so it keeps warm. Bring the liquid to the boil and allow to reduce until it is syrupy. Stir regularly.
Remove the potato fondant from the saucepan and discard the stock. Plate up with the beef, beetroot and sauce