Beef cheek is a tough cut of meat that comes from the cheek of the cow. Most people braise beef cheek so it can absorb flavor and juices. Braising also makes the meat more tender.
The ingredients are beef cheek, beef bones, 2 cloves of garlic, 4 celery stalks, 4 medium to large carrots, 1 small onion, olive oil, salt, coarsely ground black pepper, thyme, rosemary, and 1 bay leaf.
You will use an oven, a large pot with a cover, and a fork.
Instructions for Cooking
Step 1. Roast the beef bones in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Step 2. Prepare a clove of minced garlic, 2 chopped carrots, and celery stalks. Toss these with a bay leaf into a large pot. Add water to cover the mixture, then start simmering.
Step 3. Put the roasted beef bones into the pot and add more water to immerse them. Bring the pot to a slow boil, cooking for 1 hour. Check once in a while, adding water as needed to keep liquid from drying off.
Step 4. Take out the bay leaf and beef bones from the pot. The remaining mixture is your stock.
Step 5. Sprinkle salt and pepper to your beef cheek.
Step 6. Chop the onion, the remaining carrots, and 2 stalks of celery. Mince the clove of garlic. Sauté the beef cheek in olive oil with dashes of rosemary and thyme until the onion becomes translucent.
Step 7. Drop the sautéed ingredients into the stock pot and stir vigorously, then put in the beef cheek.
Step 8. Braise the concoction for at least 1 hour. Test with a fork if the beef is tender. If not, continue braising until it is. Make sure that the beef cheek is quite tender before serving.
Tips in Cooking Beef Cheek
It will be wise to check with your butcher before planning to cook this dish, since beef cheeks often need to be ordered ahead of time.
While braising is considered to be the traditional way to cook beef cheek, beef cheek can be served in many other recipes.
For an exotic flavor, use wine as the braising liquid. Cesanese wine, or a dry Lambrusco or Chianti is highly recommended.