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Jun 8, 2002 11:11 AM

beef cheeks

  • f

What exactly are beef cheeks? Is it fat stippled with meat like bacon? Is it tough stew-like meat that must be slowly cooked in liquid? When used for beef cheek ravioli, is the meat ground? Where can I find out this and more about beef cheek meat?

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  1. After eating beef cheek ravioli at Babbo last year, I asked the waiter where they get beef cheeks. He said they use brisket. I believe they suggest using brisket as an alternative in the new Babbo cookbook. Sorry to have not answered your question as to what exactly are beef cheeks.


    1. It's a long story why, ( I am a vegetarian who lives in LA, and doesnt regularly shop at Wal mart ) but I saw Beef cheeks for sale at the Wal mart in Rio Rancho , New Mexico, last month... you might check other Wal-marts.

      1. Did a little research on and found that there are actually two parts of the beef nominated as “cheeks” and I think the new “novelty” is the cheeks of the face. (Incidently, I discovered in my teens that I think its a very attractive part on a man – right at the base of the jaw by the ear - especially when he chews gum. It still is a head turner for me.) The other seems to be part of the rump area. I think the kind Mario Batali uses is the face cheeks because of his narration of their texture as resembling gelatine.

        Saw this: “Other parts of animals that may find their way into hot dogs, sausages and other mystery meats are blood, marrow, cheeks and other head trimmings, feet (trotters), tails (oxtails), stomachs (hog maw), lungs (lights), small intestines (sausage casings), skins (pork rinds), stomach linings (tripe), and testicles (fries, prairie oysters or mountain oysters).”

        Also saw this: “Poowong Meat Packing Pty Ltd specialises in meat export selling Australian beef to countries around the world, like Russia, Korea, Libya and the U.S.A.”

        Does that help?

        1 Reply
        1. re: kc girl

          What you like is called the masseter muscle ;-)

        2. s
          Stanley Stephan

          I've had beef cheeks and it tastes like any other cut of beef. It is a tender cut of meat.

          I've also had Babbo's beef cheek ravioli, but those little raviolis are so small and thin with so little meat, who can really can distiguish it is some special part of the cow. I love Babbo who makes a living out of taking the cheapest cuts of meat and charging prime time prices. The food is very good, but you have to appreciate the irony there.

          If you are ever in SF stop by a restaurnt called Bizou where beef cheeks are one of the specialties always on the menu. The cheeks are breaded with mustard crust and fried. It is served on a bed of watercress. No big deal though. It's a signature dish but I think it is excelled by so many other outstanding dishes on the menu. Tried it. Liked it. Don't crave it. Moving on.

          Actually I had the Babbo beef cheeks raviolis AT Bizou where Mario Batali was doing a tour with his new cookbook. Loretta Keller who owns Bizou is a big fan of Batali's cooking.

          To sum it up, it tastes like beef.

          1. To answer your question, beef cheeks are indeed tough stew-like meats that need to be cooked for a long time, at which point they become nicely tender.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Tom Meg

              I don't know about beef cheeks, but on the Food Network website, Emeril has two recipes for veal cheeks which I imagine would be very similar. I have never tried either - although would love to - but you might want to look up these recipes as a point of reference. Good luck!