Quick Recipes and Easy

How to Cook Beef Cheek

“Beef cheeks?” I questioned, staring at the menu. “What are beef cheeks?”

I’m worried that the first time I encountered this item on a menu in a fancy Manhattan restaurant, I reacted like the stereotypical dumb yokel come to the huge city for the first time.

That was a few years ago, and I’ve since learned that many people (Texans, who don’t like to let any part of a cow go to waste, come to mind) are quite familiar with beef cheek. Also, that beef cheek means just that–the cheek part of a cow’s head.

The one I had that evening in New York was tasty, so I vowed to try cooking it at home. At that time, though, it wasn’t simple to find beef cheeks in very many places, certainly not in the stores where I was then living. Nowadays it’s somewhat simpler, and even the huge discount club stores occasionally have them for sale.

Beef cheek can be quite tough, and many folks won’t have the patience it takes to cook it as it should be cooked. But I promise that if you persevere, you will be rewarded with an brilliant dish of meat . In fact, you may find it to be among the “sweetest beef” you’ve ever tasted.

The most traditional way of cooking beef cheek is to braise it, although I’ve seen it in all sorts of other recipes. Here’s a excellent braised beef cheeks recipe; note that it also calls for beef bones for making a stock.

Ingredients Beef bones

Beef cheek

2 cloves garlic

4 medium-to-large carrots

4 stalks celery

1 small onion

Thyme

Rosemary

1 bay leaf

Olive oil

Salt

Coarsely ground black pepper

Directions 1. Roast beef bones in oven for about 15 minutes.

2. Mince 1 clove of garlic. Chop 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks. Place these with the bay leaf into a large pot. Add enough water to cover well, and start simmering.

3. Add the roasted beef bones and more water to cover. Bring pot to a slow boil, cooking for 1 hour. Check periodically and add water as necessary to keep liquid from boiling away.

4. Remove the beef bones and bay leaf from the pot. What remains in the pot is your stock.

5. Salt and pepper the beef cheek.

6. Chop the onion and the remaining carrots and celery, mince the remaining clove of garlic, and saute all of these in olive oil with excellent dashes of rosemary and thyme, until onion turns translucent.

7. Add the sauteed ingredients to the stock pot, stir thoroughly, and then add in the beef cheek.

8. Braise for at least 1 hour. Test with a fork to see if the beef is tender. If not, continue braising until it is. Remember, it’s vital that the beef cheek be quite tender before serving.

9. Serve beef and stock together.

Sarah Sandori is the food and entertaining columnist for the solid-gold.info/index.html Solid Gold Info Writers Consortium. Have you ever wanted to be able to exactly duplicate a favorite dish from a favorite restaurant? Check out Sarah’s article where she reveals her source for the most mouth-watering secret restaurant recipes in America: solid-gold.info/most-wanted-recipes.html solid-gold.info/most-wanted-recipes.html

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