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.