Beef cheek is an interesting cut of beef that isn’t used as often as other cuts such as sirloin and rib eye. The muscles in cows’ cheeks are very strong, because they are chewing all day, which makes the meat tough and sinewy.
Much of the surrounding fat and gristle is trimmed down by the butcher before it reaches the customer, to get it ready for consumption. Take a look at our favorite beef cheek recipes to try.
A slow cooker is one of the best tools you can have when dealing with beef cheeks – the longer they are cooking, the more tender they will be when it’s time to eat them.
It is also very simple to prepare slow cooker meals, as you just place all the ingredients in a pot and leave the cooker to do the hard work for you.
After the full 8 hours, the beef cheek in this dish will melt away in your mouth, and the accompanying sauce complements it perfectly.
Braising is a popular method for cooking beef cheeks, as it allows the meat to tenderize over a few hours. It can also be relatively healthy compared to frying, for example; for this to apply, you will need to remove as much of the fat as possible first.
You will need a large earthenware pot, such as the Dutch oven suggested by this recipe, so that you can fit all the ingredients in and make sure they are warmed through.
Take a trip to Mexico from the comfort of your own home with these fantastic beef cheek tacos.
We would never have thought of incorporating beef cheek into Mexican cuisine, but this recipe works fantastically well and makes us wonder what other combinations we’re missing out on.
You can make 8-10 tacos with the ingredients listed, so feel free to double up if you’re catering for a large group. You will need to leave the beef to marinate overnight, so make sure you have plenty of time to prepare properly.
We really are touring the nations in this list: next up is an Asian-inspired beef cheek recipe. The flavors of the supporting ingredients, such as the carrot and ginger puree, conjure up a series of oriental images in the diner’s mind.
You can cook these cheeks in advance and then reheat them just before you eat, which saves precious time when you need it most – who wants to be slaving away in the kitchen when you have guests waiting to be entertained?!
This recipe also takes advantage of braising to achieve a hearty, flavorful stew.
It uses chicken stock instead of beef stock, but this isn’t a mistake – the author believes that beef stock would be overkill in an already very rich dish, so deliberately substitutes it with a lighter alternative.
By all means use beef stock if you prefer, but you may find you have to adjust some of the other ingredient measurements to balance out the richness.
We love a good soup, and this beef cheek minestrone is no exception. Packed full of ripe vegetables and satisfying pasta alongside the beef, the soup is an entire meal in a bowl.
It has minimal preparation time, allowing you to sit back and relax while it cooks away on the stove in the background.
Minestrone soup has a specific recipe, so the ingredients are pretty fixed; however, you can customize it with your favorite topping – we love parmesan or pesto.
This is a bold claim for a recipe to make, so we just had to try it and see for ourselves. Luckily, it stands up to scrutiny so far.
It takes a long time to be ready and there are some fiddly stages in the preparation, but it’s worth it in the end when you’re left with a sumptuous beef dish that speaks for itself. We love to serve these beef cheeks with mashed potatoes and asparagus.
Unusually for a beef cheek recipe, this one insists it only takes 40 minutes from start to finish. On closer inspection, we learnt that it assumes your beef has already been braised, and the stated time is based on reheating them.
The braising instructions included further down the page suggest a 2 ½ hour process, so make sure you either allow for this when following the recipe, or braise them in advance and store until you’re ready.
The fennel and mango provide contrasting exotic flavors to pair with the beef.
We’re familiar with slow cooking and braising at this point, but now it’s time to try our hand at smoking our beef cheeks.
While the recipe really only takes you through the steps involved in this cooking method, you can incorporate your smoked beef cheeks in a range of dishes including sandwiches and tacos.
It’s also perfectly acceptable to eat them as they are, so you can enjoy the BBQ taste with no distractions.
A good ragu is a classic meal that can be enjoyed any time and by anyone. This particular version is enveloped in a casing of buttery pastry, which brings a wonderful flaky crunch that we can almost hear as we’re writing this.
The dish takes around 4 hours overall to complete, which is substantially longer than most ragu recipes, but it’s worth it when you tuck into a hearty plate of bliss.
Gnocchi wasn’t our immediate thought for pairing with beef cheeks, and it probably isn’t yours either. However, stick with this recipe and you’ll see that these two ingredients work well together and aren’t too stodgy after all.
The trick is in the timings, and getting these right will reward you handsomely with a tasty meal full of hearty flavors and exciting textures – make sure you follow the instructions carefully and don’t cut corners.
We’ve already done a fair bit of globe-trotting so far with this list, but this recipe might take the crown – are we in Ireland or Germany? The answer is both, with the Irishness of Guinness taking its place alongside the German Spaetzle.
The combination works better than you might expect it to; the Guinness really helps bring out the rich flavor of the beef cheek, and the spaetzle provides an interesting texture.
Where would we be without some good old-fashioned American grits? Not enjoying this fabulous beef cheek recipe, that’s where. The meat is cooked in the oven for 4-5, by which point it is so tender that pieces come away at the slightest touch.
It is then set upon a bed of grits for serving, taking you on a texture and flavor journey with every mouthful.
If you want to bring a touch of French elegance to your dinner party, look no further than this classy braised beef cheek recipe. It is perfect for cold seasons and is served with a selection of winter vegetables, including carrots and onions.
Although the recipe may seem complex and involved at first, a lot of the writing covers explanations of each step and why they are important, to help you understand what you’re doing.
Everyone loves a good stroganoff, and everyone also loves the umami flavors of beef and mushroom together. According to our calculations, this recipe is bound to be a hit among your family and friends.
While it is billed as a ‘whole mushroom’ recipe, feel free to slice the mushrooms instead if that suits your needs better – you may have young kids who could choke on large mushrooms, for example.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does Beef Cheek Taste?
Beef cheek tastes much the same as any other beef cut, except it is usually tougher and more chewy. It is also great at taking on the taste of the ingredients it is put with, especially herbs like rosemary, thyme and oregano.
Cooking your beef cheek in olive oil ensures that it will be as succulent and flavorful as possible.
Where Can I Buy Beef Cheek?
Because beef cheek isn’t as readily available as many other cuts and you won’t often find it in your local grocery store, it is a better bet to visit a butcher.
A lot of people prefer to buy their meat from a butcher anyway, so they can be sure of where it’s come from, but it is also great to make use of their specialist knowledge when it comes to meat.
They will be able to advise on how much you should buy and can package it up to suit your needs.
Why Is Beef Cheek Good To Use In Cooking?
Beef cheek is a prime cut to cook with because, although it is considered a specialty cut, it is also relatively inexpensive.
It starts off a little tougher than perhaps you might be used to, but can become deliciously tender and juicy when you know how to prepare it properly. Beef cheek is versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways – the possibilities are endless!