I’ve been getting nosey. Mostly at the grocery store. I’m eyeing up the items on the shelves, looking at different cheeses and produce to see what is available that I’m just not aware of. I read so many recipes where I think, “I’ll never find that in the grocery store.” It feels pretty limiting sometimes.
I have come across a few good beef cheeks recipes and have seen them cooked many times on Masterchef Australia and My Kitchen Rules, so when I was nosing around the odd and ends section of the butchers my heart about leapt out of my chest to see beef cheeks on display! The cheeks are a very muscular part of the cows face. They do a lot of chewing work, so there is a lot of tissue to break down, perfect for a braise in the oven.
I had read a great recipe involving bacon in Matt Preston’s Cook Book called Beef A La Mode. What’s not to like about half a bottle of red wine, bacon, beef and lots of shallots and celery?
The picture above is after I pulled it out of the oven with Dave standing close by to make sure I didn’t touch the scalding pan with my hands or my arms like last time. I will have that scar for life.
I paired it with some deliciously roasted carrots from Jamie Oliver’s Cook with Jamie. I tested them on Friday and they were awesome, so we had them again on Sunday night with the cheeks.
With the beef in the middle, bacon lardons on top, carrots below and a lovely rich sauce, Dave crowned this meal the best I’ve made yet. The cheeks just melted in the mouth. I know on all the cooking shows they chuck the veggies that were stewing with the meat and plate up with fresher sides, but I can’t throw away anything. So they may be dark, brown and mushy but they still end up tasty and in my belly.
So don’t be afraid if you see them in the store, they are cheaper than steak and cook up like a dream….you just have to get past all the muscle tissue you have to pull off first! :)