There are some things you have to try at least once. Beef cheeks fit the bill.
However, it may not sound like a delicacy, beef cheeks exquisite food.
They are usually served in fancy restaurants, but you don’t need to visit a fancy restaurant just to get your fill of beef cheeks. You can make them at home.
But first, you need to know where to buy beef cheeks.
What Are Beef Cheeks?
Beef cheeks are a cut of beef carved from the animal’s facial area. Beef cheeks are cut from the same place the animal uses to chew food.
Another name for beef cheeks is ox cheeks. Because the cow uses the cheeks to chew, it can create a thick, tough cut of meat.
However, like brisket, it can be transformed into a tender cut of meat when cooked properly.
Beef cheeks are great for appetizers, soups, stews, and sandwiches.
What Do Beef Cheeks Taste Like
Beef cheeks have a decadent savory beef flavor when cooked low and slow. It has a soft mouthfeel that cannot be compared to any other type of beef or meat.
How To Cook Beef Cheeks
Just like there are several ways you can season a steak, there are multiple ways you can improve the flavor of beef cheeks.
One of my go-to ways of cooking beef cheeks is to coat them with olive oil and spices and sear them in a hot cast-iron skillet before placing them into a slow cooker.
Feel free to experiment with any spices and herbs you prefer.
Rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, garlic, ginger, and turmeric work well with beef cheeks.
You can also braise the beef cheeks in a flavorful liquid until they are nice and tender.
You can serve beef cheeks with potatoes, salad, or red wine.
Are Beef Cheeks Tough?
In short, yes, beef cheeks are tough. Cows are addicted to chewing.
Dissimilar to other types of mammals, cows were blessed with the ability to digest cellulose or plant fibers found in grass.
In terms of structure, these fibers are extremely strong and require a bit of chewing to get their nutrients.
Cows use the mouth and the rumen found in the stomach, which acts as a fermenting chamber to digest tough plant fibers.
In addition to this, cows chew harder than other animals because they chew the food twice before it enters the rumen.
Believe it hour, not cows spend almost 8 hours a day chewing. This is equivalent to 40,000 jaw movements a day.
They need strong cheeks to handle all of these jaw movements.
The continuous chewing drives more blood to the cheeks resulting in significantly toned muscles and tough beef cheeks.
Are Beef Cheeks Healthy?
Of course, beef cheeks are healthy. Using beef cheeks in place of popular cuts such as top round steaks, brisket, or prime rib.
Beef cheeks contain less fat than most cuts of beef. In addition, beef cheeks are higher in protein than famous steaks such as eye of round steaks, porterhouse, and sirloin.
Beef cheeks contain vitamin C, which supports the immune system; vitamin B plays a role in cellular functions such as digesting carbohydrates.
Beef cheeks also have more than 200% of the daily recommended amount of iron.
Substitutes for Beef Cheeks
While beef cheeks are the uncontested champion of braised beef, it is in high demand.
You may not be able to find beef cheeks in your area or online, but there are a few substitutes.
Beef short ribs, as well as beef oxtail, are excellent substitutes for beef cheeks.
Both beef short ribs and oxtail are soft and fatty. Once they are cooked low and slow, both cuts will be fall off the bone tender.
Nevertheless, beef cheeks will be cheaper and richer than beef short ribs or oxtails.
Where To Buy Beef Cheeks
Beef cheeks have an extraordinary texture. Therefore, beef cheeks are in high demand.
Nevertheless, before you buy beef cheeks, you must speak with your butcher.
Beef cheeks contain a sizeable portion of sinews. The butcher needs to remove this sinew to create a cleaner cut.
For this reason, we recommend taking a trip to your local butcher shop to buy beef cheeks.
You can talk to your butcher about beef cheek size. A knowledgeable butcher can tell you that each beef cheek weighing between 350-400 grams will shrink when it’s cooked.
You will end up with beef cheeks that range between 250-300 grams.
Ask the butcher how much beef cheeks will shrink during the cooking process.
If they do not have an answer, then you should not buy beef cheeks from them.
On the other hand, if you’re searching for a good butcher, meat shrinkage, weight, and timing are subjects you must discuss.
This will help you determine the butcher’s experience.
Most butchers will need advanced notice when you are placing an order for a specialty cut like beef cheeks, especially if you are purchasing a large order.
It may be best to call your butcher in advance, so they can get trimmed and packaged beef cheeks.
Even though beef cheeks are a specialty cut, they are usually inexpensive.
Although you can purchase beef cheeks online, we don’t always get what we pay for.
Sometimes the online retailer will advertise perfectly trimmed beef cheeks that have a fresh red color.
However, when we open the box, we are met with inadequately trimmed beef that was packaged incorrectly.
Not all online meat distributors will give you bad beef cheeks. However, do your research first.
Read the online vendors’ reviews from other buyers before you purchase beef cheeks from an online vendor.
When it comes to buying beef cheeks, a great butcher is priceless. There are only two beef cheeks in every animal, and they are in high demand.
Therefore, if you want the best beef cheeks, find an excellent butcher and build a relationship with them.
This way, you will always be in the loop when a new shipment of beef cheeks arrives.
You might also be interested in the following:
- Where To Buy Beef Brisket
- Where To Buy Corned Beef
- Where To Buy Beef Liver
- Where To Buy Beef Ribs
- Where To Buy Pork Belly
- Where To Buy Beef Tongue
- Where To Buy Beef Shank
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.