Chefs in high-end restaurants love Beef Cheeks for their unique texture and robust flavor.
It is complicated to find this cut in mainstream butcher shops and stores.
Beef Cheeks are our favorite from all the cuts we offer in our Nose-to-tail Butchery range.
We are not surprised to see Beef Cheek on cooking shows such as Master Chef or served in Michelin Star Restaurants. This is an excellent cut of beef and deserves to be highlighted.
This guide will help you learn more about Beef Cheeks and inspire you to try them.
What are beef cheeks?
Beef cheeks, or Ox cheeks, are products we are often asked about. What are beef cheeks, and what part of the cow is beef cheeks? “.
As the name implies, this is a small pouch of muscle meat from the cheeks of an animal.
Each Beef Cheek is approximately 12 oz. to 14 oz. (340 g. to 400 g.) in weight.
The muscle is very hard-working, and the Beef Cattle spend at least 6-8 hours per day chewing on grass.
The Cheek muscle is very active. This means that there are a lot of connective tissues. On the one hand, this requires slow, gentle cooking, but on the flip side, we get a beef cut rich in collagen, gelatin, and savory, savory beef.
Grass-fed and Grass-finished Beef Cheeks, such as those produced by TruBeef, will have a Ruby Red color. Grain-fed beef cheeks will be more pinkish. A trimmed brisket will look triangular or oval, almost like a smaller one. But that’s where the similarities end.
Beef cheeks have a surface texture that is very different than other beef cuts. It’s pock-marked with connective tissue throughout. This connective tissue, ligament, and other tissues give Beef Cheeks a unique soft mouthfeel when braised in a slow or pressure cooker.
Where and how to buy beef cheeks?
The biggest problem with Beef Cheeks is finding a place to buy them.
Beef cheeks are challenging to find due to two factors:
Limited Supply. Only two Beef Cheeks are available per cow.
In Demand. Chefs and Foodies have been experimenting and valuing this cut more in the last few years.
You won’t find Beef Cheeks in butcher shops, supermarkets, or online meat purveyors. Pre-ordering beef cheeks will ensure that your Butcher, or online meat purveyor, can reserve them for you.
You will happily buy beef cheeks if you see them for sale or display.
Beef cheeks are sold per pound (lb.). or piece. Each Beef Cheek weighs between 12 and 14 oz. We recommend only one beef cheek for each person, as Beef Cheek is rich and decadent.
Are beef cheeks expensive to buy?
No, Beef Cheeks do not cost as much compared to popular cuts of steak like Filet Mignon and Porterhouse. However, the price has increased over the last 3-4 years due to the renewed demand. You can expect to pay around $14 per lb. You can buy Beef Cheeks at most stores (if you find them).
You can also expect to pay around $40 for a Braised Beef Cheek with polenta or mashed potatoes.
Trimming Beef Cheek: Important
If you pre-order or buy Beef cheeks from your Butcher, he will trim the Beef Cheek for You. When Beef cheeks have been harvested, they are covered in tough ligaments and fatty tissue.
Even the slowest cooking cannot break down this sinew. You can buy Beef Cheeks that have been trimmed.
Beef cheeks are an excellent way to support nose-to-tail butchers dedicated to using and highlighting the entire animal.
What do beef cheeks taste like?
What do Beef Cheeks taste like? Beef Cheeks is a beef cut from naturally raised grass-fed and finished cows. They have a unique soft mouthfeel with rich beef flavors. Truly unique.
Slow-cooked Beef Cheeks are like super-soft, stringy, fatty pulled pork or extra-soft Oxtail. The Beef Cheeks are so tender and soft that you can use a spoon to scoop up the fibers.
Beef Cheeks contain a lot of connective tissue and are, therefore, rich in Collagen and Gelatin. This acts as a sponge. The Beef cheeks absorb all the flavor and moisture of the braising liquid.
Braised/slow-cooked Beef Cheeks in Red Wine is our favorite way to prepare Beef Cheek. The texture is unforgettable, and the taste is heavenly.
SUBSTITUTES for BEEF CHEEKS
Beef Cheeks are the King of all braised and slow-cooked beef cuts. The closest alternatives to Beef Cheeks are braised beef short ribs (cooked extra-long) or Oxtail. Slow-cooked Beef Oxtail is delicious, soft, and fatty.
How long should you cook beef cheeks?
Beef cheeks are easy to cook but must be simmered to get the most out of them. The cooking process for Beef Cheeks involves only two steps:
Step 1: Brown and sear your Beef Cheeks in a pan or in a pot. This will seal the cut to enhance flavor.
Step 2: Slow Cooking Beef Cheeks in Oven, Stovetop, or Crock Pot
It takes time and patience to use your Instant Pot Pressure Cooker or slow cooker to break down connective tissue. Your patience will be rewarded.
The Instant Pot’s Stew setting will produce melt-in-your-mouth results in 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Slow n’ Low cooking time for a regular crockpot is 6-8 hours.
No Crockpot or Pressure Cooker? Need to know how you can cook Beef Cheeks in the oven? Place the braising liquid, the beef cheek meat, and the ingredients of your choice in a casserole dish. Then bake at 320 degrees F / 160 degrees C for 3 to 3 1/2 hrs.
The exact cooking time and temperature apply to stovetop cooking.
POPULAR BEEF CEEK BRAISING Liquids
You can cook the beef cheeks in water if you follow a strict diet such as AIP or Carnivore. The dark juices and flavors will be transferred into a tasty broth.
The Beef Cheeks can be added to the pressure cooker with vegetables, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Bone broth, kosher sea salt, and bone broth are also recommended.
Beef Cheeks are the perfect choice for making traditional Barbacoa Beef Tacos.