It Will Change Your Concept Of What Tender Beef Means (2008-12-27)

Have you ever used cow cheeks in your stews?  I discovered this unusual but wonderful cut of meat just recently and I tell ya, you don't know what real "tender meat" is until you've eaten the cheeks of a cow.

I can't find this meat in butcher shops or supermarkets here, I can only get it online.  The first time I was cutting into the cheeks, I was like, "WTF?!"  It felt as if I was sawing cow hide!  Honestly I thought I had purchased a piece of inedible cut of beef.  But I hate wasting food, so I soldiered on and continued with the cooking.  I cooked it in the T-fal pressure cooker for 50 minutes and the result was mind-blowing!

Because of the copious amount of connective tissue crisscrossing and marbling the cheek, the meat has turned into globs of jelly with no discernible fiberous mass, it just so effortlessly melts in your mouth.  Heck, you don't even have to chew it, you can just gum it away!  Now that I've used cow cheeks, I've never returned to chuck or round steak or brisket or whatever cuts of meat I used to cook stews with.

I don't know the cost of cow cheeks in your country, I guess it depends on its popularity.  If the general public's reaction to the thought of eating cheek meat in your country is "EWWW!", then you're in luck.  That means they can't be expensive and you should hunt it down and make stew now!  Just replace whatever type of beef you always use in your favorite stew recipe with cow cheeks, the result will blow you away!

P.S. Remember cow cheeks need long slow cooking which means 50 min in a pressure cooker or 2.5 hours simmering on stove top or 3-4 hrs in the oven.

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