Joue (French), Guancia (Italian), mejilla, or cachet (Spanish)
Good Substitutes for Beef Cheek
Traditional Dishes for Beef Cheek
Braised Beef Cheek
Description of Beef Cheek
As the name suggests, the cheek is the facial muscles of the cow. A hurdle in preparing this cut is that it is very tough. The cow chews all day which creates thick fibers in its muscles. That is why the muscles are cooked through slow moist cooking. It helps impart rich flavor in the dish you are making because the muscles and fat break down into gelatin.
It is dense-fleshed in appearance and has a layer of white connective tissue in the middle. You can remove the silvery tissue by skinning it like fish. That is by peeling away the tissue by running a knife beneath it.
It typically weighs around 3/4 to 1 pound each. Make sure that you buy well-trimmed cuts from the butcher as it will make your job easier in cooking any dish made up of beef cheeks. You can store this cut in the refrigerator for a maximum of four days.
The cut is an odd option for a gourmet treat but believe it or not, it is becoming popular in a number of restaurants. Beef cheeks are especially popular in French bistros. There are a variety of ingredients like bay leaves, cloves, garlic, thyme and chives that you can use to impart more flavor in the dish. Also always remember that the cheek's flavor will make excellent gravy.
An easy way of making this cut tender apart from braising it for hours is by marinating it overnight. You should definitely check out this cut because it is inexpensive and with the right cooking technique, you can serve a mouth-watering dish.
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