Beef cheek is a cut of meat that comes from the cheek muscle of a cow. It is a flavorful and tender cut of meat that is often overlooked in favor of more popular cuts like ribeye or tenderloin. However, beef cheek is becoming increasingly popular among chefs and home cooks alike for its rich flavor and versatility in cooking. In this article, we will explore the benefits of cooking beef cheek and provide step-by-step instructions for preparing and cooking this delicious cut of meat.
Preparing the Beef Cheek
When choosing a beef cheek, look for a cut that is well-marbled with fat. This will ensure that the meat is tender and flavorful when cooked. Before cooking, the beef cheek should be trimmed of any excess fat or gristle.
Next, marinade the beef cheek in a mixture of your choice. Some popular marinades include soy sauce, and garlic or a combination of herbs and spices. Marinating beef cheek overnight will help to tenderize the meat and infuse it with flavor.
How to Cook Beef Cheek
One of the best ways to cook beef cheek is by braising it. Braising is a method of cooking that involves searing the meat over high heat, then cooking it in a liquid at a low temperature. This method results in a tender, juicy piece of meat that is full of flavor.
To braise beef cheek, start by heating a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the pot, then sear the beef cheek on all sides until it is browned. Remove the beef cheek from the pot and set it aside.
Next, add a mixture of vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and celery, to the pot. Sauté the vegetables until they are softened, then add a liquid such as beef broth to the pot. Bring the liquid to a simmer, then add the beef cheek back to the pot. Cover the pot and place it in a preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the beef cheek for 2-3 hours or until it is tender and falling apart.
Another popular method of cooking beef cheek is slow cooking. This method involves cooking the beef cheek in a slow cooker on a low setting for several hours. To slow cook beef cheek, simply add the beef cheek and your choice of liquid and vegetables to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the meat is tender.
Sous vide is another great way to cook beef cheek. This method involves cooking the meat in a vacuum-sealed bag at a low temperature. To sous vide beef cheek, season the beef cheek with your desired herbs and spices, then seal it in a vacuum-sealed bag. Cook the beef cheek in a sous vide water bath at 135 degrees Fahrenheit for 24-48 hours.
Serving and Storing
Beef cheek can be served in a variety of ways. It can be served as a main course with vegetables or mashed potatoes, or it can be shredded and used as a filling for tacos or sandwiches. It can also be served with a rich gravy or sauce.
Leftover beef cheek can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Beef cheek is a flavorful and versatile cut of meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. Whether you choose to braise, slow cook, or sous vide your beef cheek, the result will be a tender, juicy, and delicious piece of meat that is sure to impress. With a little bit of preparation and patience, anyone can cook a delicious beef cheek at home.
If you're looking for a new and exciting way to enjoy beef, give beef cheek a try. Not only is it delicious, but it's also a budget-friendly option that is sure to impress your friends and family. Remember to choose a well-marbled cut, trim and marinate it, and cook it low and slow for the best results. With some experimentation and experience, you'll be a pro at cooking beef cheek in no time.
Say hello to Jessica "Jess" Ainsley, a 30-something food blogger and freelance copywriter based in the West Coast. With a passion for all things related to food and cooking, Jessica spends her days testing out new recipes and sharing her culinary adventures on her popular blog.