How To Cook Beef Cheeks

how to cook beef cheeksI love using uncommon cuts. It is just a wonderful feeling to be able to utilize the whole animal that we have raised. Respecting the animal and gaining complete nourishment for ourselves and our loved ones. 

Beef Cheeks are a very nutrient dense cut of beef that will wow your family and friends! It is typically a very inexpensive buy in the supermarket and when prepared right, a hit on the dinner table.

These cheeks are a tough muscle since it is used to chew food constantly. The best way to cook them is to slow cook in some liquid to soften them. 

Cheeks are packed full of collagen which aids in the strength of your hair, skin, nails and bones. It is definitely a underestimated cut of beef!

How to get Cheeks:

When finding beef cheeks, you will have to best luck ordering from your local butcher shop. Since this is a specialty cut, ordering it ahead of time is going to be your best bet. 

Or, when you purchase a whole steer, ask for the beef cheeks! There are obviously only two cheeks per animal so this is why it is considered a "specialty cut" and most grocery stores don't have it sitting on the shelves. 

beef cheek recipe ideas

The Method:

Heat up a cast iron skillet to medium high.

Salt and pepper the cheeks generously. 

Sear the cheeks on both sides to bring in a beautiful color and flavor. 

Remove from the cast iron and add the cheeks to a stock pot or slow cooker and cover with water. I add in a few cloves of crushed garlic. 

Boil the mixture and then reduce to a simmer and let it simmer all day. About 8-10 hours.

The cheeks should fall apart by the end of your simmering. Remove and shred them up with a fork. 

*Pro tip: It is a game changer when you re-cast iron the shredded meat and crisp up the fat of the beef. It is basically like carnitas!


How to prepare:

This is such a versatile cut. Once the beef is shredded, you can get really creative. 

Some ideas:

Amazing for Mexican Cuisine: tacos, nachos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, burritos.

I top it on salads. The fresh crispness of greens really balances out the fat from the beef and pairs well together. 

It's great served on top of creamy mashed potatoes, rice and polenta with a red wine reduction sauce!

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