If you’re looking for a delicious dish with a hint of intrigue, this is the one for you. Don’t let the cheek scare you off, as this is one of the most flavorful and tender pieces of meat. If you think your guests may be put off by it, just wait till they’ve had their fill and tell you how good it is before you tell them what it really is.
- 2 Beef Cheeks
- 1/2 cup Kosher salt
- 1 Onion
- 2 Carrots, medium
- 3 Celery stalks
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 3 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 1 TBL Coriander
- 1 TBL Yellow Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
- 3 cups Red Wine Vinegar
To do this right it is about a 3 day process.
Day 1 – Rinse the cheek and allow to soak in water with the ½ cup of salt.
Day 2 – Remove the cheek from the brine and place in a pot (with a lid) large enough to hold the tongue along with all the remaining ingredients (minus the vinegar). Cover with water, simmer over medium-low heat covered for approximately 3 hours or until tender.
Remove the cheek from the broth and place on a wire rack to allow it to cool. While the cheek cools, strain the remaining broth and reserve. Once the cheek is cooled slightly, place into a non-reactive container and cover with the broth. Allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.
Day 3 – Remove the cheek from the broth. Place the broth in a pot and reduce by at least ½. While the broth is reducing slice/shred the beef cheek. Once the broth is reduced, add the vinegar and return pot to a boil. Once boiling pour over the cheek and allow to cool. Allow the cheek to “pickle” for about 2 days for best flavor.
To serve simply heat some oil in a pan and add as much cheek as you’d like and season to taste with salt and pepper. It will keep refrigerated for about 1-2 months.
We typically shred ours and serve it in tacos or quesadillas with shredded cheese and pico de gallo.