Cooking the Unthinkable: Beef Cheeks

Cooking the Unthinkable is a series that examines some of the more eccentric ingredients. Whether you are a fan of the bizarre or are preparing for the eminent collapse of Western society this series will help you better stomach weird food.

I remember watching the original Iron Chef from Japan and like most Americans I was enthralled by the things they ate. Weird things like eyeballs, shark’s fin and the most unpalatable food of all time tofu.  Every time the secret ingredient was some animal it seemed someone would always make a course out of that animal’s cheeks.  Apparently face is tasty.  So I tried it for myself.

I had been seeing Cryovaced packs of beef cheek at the market but I just didn’t know what to do with it.  It was a meaty cut, bright red in color but how exactly does one cook beef cheek?  I checked Chris Cosentino’s web site, Offal Good, which is devoted to offal and found some neat recipes.  The same with Michael Symon’s site but it yielded no cheek recipes.

After a few searches I found that pot roast is a common application.  At least one article suggested that cheek was superior to chuck when pot roasting so that was what I did with mine.

I love pot roast. I really do and I made the best pot roast I ever.  Ever.  Usually my favorite parts of pot roast are the sweet and slightly tangy carrots and of coarse the beef itself.  But in this pot roast everything tasted equally as good as everything else.  So the next time you are going to do a pot roast save a little money by substituting cheek for your usual roast and reap the benefits.

.I love pot raost. I really do and I just made the best pot roast I have ever had.

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Stuart in 80 Words or Less
Stuart is a celebrity chef, food activist and award-winning food writer. He penned the cookbooks Third Coast Cuisine: Recipes of the Gulf of Mexico, No Sides Needed: 34 Recipes To Simplify Life and Amigeauxs - Mexican/Creole Fusion Cuisine. He hosts two Internet cooking shows "Everyday Gourmet" and "Little Grill Big Flavor." His recipes have been featured in Current, Lagniappe, Southern Tailgater, The Kitchen Hotline and on the Cooking Channel.

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Stuart’s Honors & Awards
2015 1st Place Luck of the Irish Cook-off
2015 4th Place Downtown Cajun Cook-off
2015 2nd Place Fins' Wings & Chili Cook-off
2014 2015 4th Place LA Gumbo Cook-off
2012 Taste Award nominee for best chef (web)
2012 Finalist in the Safeway Next Chef Contest
2011 Taste Award Nominee for Little Grill Big Flavor
2011, 12 Member: Council of Media Tastemakers
2011 Judge: 29th Chef's of the Coast Cook-off
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Wing Cook-off
2011 Cooking Channel Perfect 3 Recipe Finalist
2011 Judge: Dauphin Island Gumbo Cook-off
2011 Culinary Hall of Fame Member
2010 Tasty Awards Judge
2010 Judge: Bayou La Batre Gumbo Cook-off
2010 Gourmand World Cookbook Award Nominee
2010 Chef2Chef Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2010 Denay's Top 10 Best Food Blogs
2009 2nd Place Bay Area Food Bank Chef Challenge
2008 Tava: Discovery Contest Runner-up
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