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Mar 5, 2009 04:58 PM

Cumbrae Farms Beef Cheeks

I bought Thomas Keller's "The French Laundry Cookbook" and have decided to actually cook a few things from there. I'm doing the cheek part of his "tongue in cheek" recipe.
So I got the cheeks after a few days wait, opened up the vacuum-sealed package and man did those cheeks smell good--probably not the first time that's been said--the smell of it was just fabulous, and this is raw mind you. Anyway, I've not cooked or eaten the meat yet, it's still marinating, but I wanted to comment on the loveliness of this meat. It had plenty of surface fat and silverskin (which I trimmed), but the meat was beautifully marbled, reminiscent of some wagyu I've seen (but never cooked with) in the cases. I'm just so used to crap, I'm glad I finally pulled the trigger on some decent beef, even if it was a cheap cut. I'll update you in a few days with the outcome.

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  1. Thanks for the post. I'm glad they have good quality special order stuff. it's cumbrae's, so shouldn't be a surprise, but still. i'm special ordering some pig cheek for guanciale.

    1. Would you mind revealing the price and quantity?

      1 Reply
      1. re: jamesm

        Not at all. I bought three pounds at $5.99 a pound. I removed in the neighbourhood of half-a-pound of fat and silverskin. The toughness of the meat made it hard to remove. I sharpened my knife on the waterstone first, but it was still a chore.

      2. I haven't had this cut, yet, even in a restaurant, so I look forward to your report. I would expect it to be well marbled and fatty, but not at the tenderness level of rib or strip wagyu as this is a well used muscle, but not under the weight and stress of sirloin or round. Good pricing.

        3 Replies
        1. re: jayt90

          It's meant for braising. Think of all the cud chewing, that muscle gets a lot of work.

          I'd like to source veal cheeks, I imaging Cumbrae's can get this as well.

          1. re: jayt90

            Got some last year at Grace Meats for about half that. Whatever the provenance, it's still one tough hunk of beef albeit flavorful.

            1. re: Kagemusha

              Did you have to order them in advance from Grace? I asked about pig cheeks (i know, different animal) and they couldn't give me a straight answer. Mind you, I called and wasn't talking to the most knowledgeable butcher.

          2. A great discussion about cooking beef cheeks has been split to the Home Cooking board. You can find it at this link: