Sunday, February 19, 2012

The magic of Beef Cheeks

Every blog I've read goes on about the joys of Beef Cheeks.  They're apparently the holy grail of beef cooked Sous Vide.  The more work a muscle does the more flavour it has, but also the tougher it is. 

So after much difficulty I managed to get beef cheeks ordered in at the local butcher.  56 degrees for 30 hours, then brush with olive oil and a one minute sear on the hot bars.

On the plate and it certainly cut nicely.  Super tender.  I was able to actually cut it with the steak knife held upside down.  The blunt side slid through the meat like a knife through butter.  Well, no it was a bit harder than that but really, I cut it with the knife upside down. (just to see if I could)

Then, the taste test...

It was horrible.  Gristle and chewy.  Couldn't swallow the first mouthful. 

I spat that out and cut another bit from a different part.  I managed to eat it but it wasn't pleasant.  The gristle had broken down into gelatin.  It was like eating beef jelly.  There wasn't much flavour in it either.  I managed to get down that 125 gram portion.  I tried a bit off another and it was the same.  The rest went to the dog who seemed to have a very different opinion.  She thought it was delicious. 

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