Cheeky Cow

So I’m always up for eating new things (except eyeballs). I’ve also been looking for a cut of meat that will slow cook without drying out and a lot of posts on WordPress mention beef cheeks. Cheeks? Eating something’s cheeks. Just doesn’t sound quite right.

However I spotted some at Tesco of all places so I went for it. And its so cheap – this lot cost £3!

Now to prepare beef cheeks you need to a) marinate them in wine for a day and b) cook them for 4 or 5 hours at a low temperature. For someone who likes to ‘fry it and stuff it’ in 30 seconds this is quite hard. But I did it.

To make ‘Slow Cooker Beef Cheeks with Dumplings’ you will need:

  • 3 big beef cheeks
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Carrots
  • Button mushrooms
  • Red wine (something good)
  • Beefstock
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Flour
  • Beef suet
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter

On the day before cooking chop up your cheeks and place them in an airtight container. Then add half a bottle of red wine, chopped up ginger, garlic, onion and carrot.

Gratuitous new knife shot

Put the lid on and put in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.

24 hours later take the cheeks out of the marinade (don’t throw that stuff away!) and pat dry. They will have gone a bit purple after soaking up all that booze! Now dredge in flour and fry in oil and butter for a couple of minutes, turning frequently to brown all over.

Put the cheeks in a casserole and then add the marinade, beef stock and some more onion and the mushrooms.

Pop in the oven at a low heat (eg 125 C) for about 5 hours.

With half an hour to go get the pot out, strain off some juice into a cup and add some flour, stirring to form a paste. Put back into the pot to thicken the sauce. Make the dumplings by mixing self-raising flour with beef suet and some water to form a dry dough. Split into golf balls and pop onto the top of the stew.

Back in the oven for another half hour until the dumplings have risen.

Now serve with sour cream and chopped chives. The cheeks were without a doubt the tenderest piece of beef I’ve ever tried. It was amazing. Better than steak by a mile!!! I think it’s the marinating time. I might actually make this again – which I rarely do…

Thats just made me think – what’s the most unusual part of an animal you’ve eaten?

37 thoughts on “Cheeky Cow

  1. Wow. I love beef cheeks, and I am completely stunned that the cut is a) so economical, and b) at TESCO!

    Your stew looks absolutely incredible, and those dumplings? Divine. Yummy, yummy!

  2. My husband bought an entire pig’s head once. We cured the cheeks to make guanciale (hog jowl bacon), and picked the rest of the meat off to make head cheese (which was okay, but not something we’d make again). We have cooked pork cheeks using a similar method as your beef cheek recipe, and it was delicious! But very rich and fatty, so a little goes a long way. 🙂

      • Basically, you simmer the whole head in a big stock pot with veggies, herbs, etc., until the meat is tender and easy to pick off of the bone. Chop up the meat, mix with some of the gelatinous stock, form into a loaf, slice, and serve. (Micah found a recipe somewhere or other…)

        We didn’t really like the texture of the headcheese. But we did love the gallons of delicious pork stock that we got from simmering the head for four hours!

  3. Didn’t that turn out perfectly?! It’s tantalizing, since I’ve just made some short ribs (similar ingredients) and they’re not done for another hour and a half.. I’m drooling over that last photo!!

  4. Why are people put off by cheek? It is one of the leanest and most delicious part of any animal. Cows cheek is particularily nice as they get so much exercise during the life of the cow chewing all that grass all day.

    Personally I think cheek sounds nicer than rump? After all at least the cheek is closer to the part where the food goes in than comes out, and to me that sounds like a much better place to start eating than the bum!

  5. Cheeks sounded awful but I was intrigued and read on. And I may have to try it! Got to be better than oxtail, which most people accept. Better close to the mouth than the other end!

  6. after looking at this recipe, I’m pretty sure my husband wants to marry you.
    weird animal parts make me feel icky. In fact, this recipe looks so good that I REALLY want to make it, but the cheeks are putting me off. Coulld I use something else?

  7. Looks delicious and surprisingly straightforward. Where I come from in the American West, “Rocky Mountain oysters” (actuallycalf or lamb testicles from the spring cutting) are a great delicacy and tasty.

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