Beef cheeks are a true hidden gem in the world of meat cuts. Often overlooked in favour of more traditional cuts, they offer a rich, beefy flavour and a melt-in-your-mouth texture that is hard to beat. Located in the head of the cow, beef cheeks are the muscles that control chewing and are used extensively throughout the animal’s life. This means that they contain a lot of connective tissue, making them an excellent candidate for slow cooking methods.
The result of slow cooking beef cheeks is a deeply flavoured, tender meat that is perfect for stews, curries, and other hearty dishes. The meat is also highly versatile and can be used in a wide range of recipes, from shredded beef cheek tacos to beef cheek ragu. Beef cheeks are a sustainable and cost-effective option that can be less expensive than other premium cuts of meat.
How to Cook Beef Cheeks?
Beef cheeks are a great option for home cooks who want to explore new flavours and cooking techniques. While they may seem intimidating at first, cooking beef cheeks is actually quite simple. The key is to cook them slowly and at a low temperature to break down the connective tissue and achieve a tender, succulent texture.
Braising beef cheeks in flavorful liquid, like red wine or beef stock, creates delicious crust and tender meat. Simmering the beef cheeks in liquid for several hours after searing makes them tender and delicious. Another option is to smoke or grill the beef cheeks, which adds a delicious smoky flavour to the meat. Regardless of the cooking method you choose, beef cheeks are sure to be a hit at your next dinner party or family gathering. You can also serve beef cheeks with a variety of sides, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables.
What Dishes Can You Make with Beef Cheeks?
The versatility of Natural Cow Ears makes them an excellent ingredient to use in a wide range of dishes. Slow-cooked beef cheeks are perfect for stews, curries and casseroles, as their rich, beefy flavour is enhanced by the long cooking time. Another popular way to use beef cheeks is to shred the meat and use it as a filling for tacos, burritos or sandwiches. The meat is also a great addition to pasta dishes and can be used to create a hearty ragu.
Beef cheeks are a great option for traditional British cuisine, such as steak and kidney or ale pie, with rich and flavorful taste. They also work well in shepherd’s pie or as a topping for a hearty beef pot pie. Alternatively, you can experiment with international flavours and use beef cheeks in spicy Indian curries, slow-cooked Mexican mole, or Chinese-style braised dishes.
Where to Buy Beef Cheeks?
If you’re looking to buy beef cheeks, there are a few options available to you. Many specialty butchers and meat markets carry beef cheeks, so it’s worth checking your local area for any stores that stock them. You can also find beef cheeks online, through specialty meat delivery services or online retailers. When buying beef cheeks, look for high-quality, grass-fed beef that is free from hormones and antibiotics. This ensures that you are getting a product that is not only delicious but also ethically sourced and nutritious.
Another option is to ask your local butcher to order beef cheeks for you. Local farms or suppliers can provide high-quality beef cheeks and cooking guidance for delicious meals. Supporting local butchers and farms offers fresher and higher quality beef cheeks while promoting sustainable farming practices in the community.