How To Cook Beef Cheek Meat: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to cook beef cheek meat

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Beef cheek meat is very delicious.  Gladly, you don’t have to go to an expensive restaurant to enjoy it. You can prepare it right in your house. But you must know one secret: it is only delicious if properly cooked. So, are you still willing to try it in your home? This guide on how to cook beef cheek meat is important to you. Read keenly to the end, and you are good to go.

Top Tips on How to Cook Beef Cheek Meat

As the name implies, the beef cheek meat is a cut of meat from the facial muscle of a cow. And because this is a hard-working muscle, slow cooking is necessary for positive outcomes.

Beef cheek meat is one of the most versatile meats you can find. With a texture similar to lamb shanks, it works well with different dishes. For instance, you can serve them with pappardelle or tortillas. Alternatively, you can use them with creamy mash or polenta. Furthermore, you can use beef cheeks in short ribs’ lieu. This is because they are cheaper.

Before you cook the meat, trim any excess sinew or fat around it. Even though the fibers in the meat are likely to break down over time, the sinew will remain unpleasant and tough. Therefore, it is wise to remove them beforehand. Some butcher removes them for you.


  • 2 Beef cheeks.
  • 1 Carrots; cut into chunks.
  • 1 Diced onion.
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks.
  • 2 tbsp of puree or tomato paste.
  • 3-4 cups of beef stock.
  • A few springs of fresh rosemary or thyme.
  • Salt.
  • 1 cup of red wine.
  • Pepper.
  • Olive oil.
  • For the sauce, 2 teaspoons of a thickening agent like arrowroot flour, normal flour, or cornflour.
  • Bay leaves

Cooking Method Options

Oven: At 160 degrees Celsius for 3-4 hours.

Stovetop: On low heat 3-4 hours.

Slow cooker: On low heat for 6 hours or high heat for 4 hours.


Step 1: Because you have already washed your beef cheek meat, use a paper towel to pat it down to help remove any excess liquid. Afterward, season with pepper and salt.

Step 2: Add olive oil to an oven-proof casserole dish or large heavy-based pot on high heat. Sear your beef cheek meat on both sides until it is lightly brown and caramelized.

Step 3: Remove your beef cheek meat and set it aside. Add more olive oil and sauté the vegetables: garlic or leek, celery, carrot, and onion.

Step 4: Add the puree or tomato paste. Cook it for a while to ensure you do not get that raw tomato flavor.

Step 5: Put your beef cheek meat in the pot and add red wine to deglaze the pan. Then, minimize the heat.

Step 6: Pour enough stock to cover the beef cheeks and bring the pot to a simmer. Then, throw in several rosemary springs or fresh thyme and bay leaves.

Step 7: Put the lid on the pot or wrap it with foil. Allow the beef cheeks to cook for 3-4 hours. Alternatively, let it sit in an oven for 3-4 hours at 160 degrees Celsius. Moreover, you can transfer your beef cheeks to a slow cooker and allow the meat to cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. No need to stay there for all those hours. Take a walk away, and you will find the liquid doing magic.

Step 8: The ability to slice through your beef cheek meat with a spoon indicates that it is ready. Remove them from your pot and set them aside.

Step 9: Remove the pot’s bay leaves, herb sprigs, and vegetable chunks.

Step 10 :Strain the beef cooking liquid in a small saucepan over low-medium heat.

Step 11: Add your flour and reduce the temperature. Then, simmer until the sauce thickens and reduces.

Glaze the beef cheek meat with the sauce and serve.

Tips to Consider When Preparing to Cook Beef Cheek Meat

Like we said, the beef cheek meat is only sweet if well-prepared and cooked. In general, preparation comes first. You need to consider several things when preparing to cook beef cheek meat. Below is a few of them.

Tip 1

If need be, cut your beef cheek meat into small pieces. Furthermore, browning it in a skillet can boost its flavor and look.

To cook the meat, begin by placing it in a pot. Afterward, add enough water, stock, or beef broth to cover the cheek meat. Continue by adding onions, garlic, red Chile peppers, and spices such as Mexican oregano and cumin for traditional flavor.

Cover your pot with a lid and place it on a high-flame stovetop. When the pot begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and allow the simmer to fall-apart tender. Dependent on your meat size, the cooking time should be about three hours. Alternatively, cook the beef cheek meat in a slow cooker or oven.

Tip 2

If you are busy and don’t have time for slow cooking the beef cheek meat, it is advisable to speed up the process using a pressure cooker or instant pot. When you use the high heat setting in your instant pot, be ready for tender meat in less than an hour. The internal temperature of the beef cheek meat must reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit to guarantee this.

Tip 3

Birria is one of the most popular Mexican dishes with beef cheek meat. This dish needs to cook well-seasoned beef cheek meat in a slow cooker set on low heat overnight or throughout the day.

Tip 4

Another popular beef cheek recipe is the beef barbacoa. Gladly, you can make it at home. In a slow cooker, do this by placing your beef cheek meat, California pepper, onion, and traditional Mexican spices wrapped in cheesecloth.

Also, submerge your beef cheek meat with water and 2 tablespoons vinegar and cook low slow and low for 8-10 hours. At the end of the time, your meat should be flavorful and fall-apart tender. Use tongs to transfer your meat to a plate and shred it with two forks.  Put your shredded meat back in the slow cooker beef juices and allow it to simmer until it absorbs more of the sauce.

How to Clean Beef Cheek Meat

A well-cooked beef cheek meat is flavorful and affordable. Gladly, you can cook it in a number of ways. But, before cooking, it is wise to clean it properly. You need to follow the steps below to clean your beef cheek meat.

  • Trim any excess sinew or fat from the meat.
  • Cut the beef cheek meat into smaller pieces.
  • Soak the meat in cold water for 30 minutes to help remove impurities or blood.
  • Rinse the meat under cold water.
  • Place your meat in a boiling water pot.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is beef cheek good for dogs?

The traditional rawhides tend to be made from horses or cowhides. They are good for the dogs’ teeth. This is because upon chewing them, the oral health of dogs’ teeth goes up. On the other hand, beef cheeks are 100% made from the inside of a cow’s cheek. Hence, they can be easily digested in a dog’s digestion.

What temperature do you cook beef cheeks?

When cooking beef cheek meat, make sure it cooks thoroughly. This is meant to avoid the risk of foodborne diseases. The recommendable internal temperature for beef is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. But, some people consider using a slightly pinker center. If you are unsure about the internal temperature of your beef cheeks, it is advisable to check it using a meat thermometer. It is safe to eat once it reaches 145 degrees.

When do you know when beef cheeks meat are cooked?

In general, beef cheeks are meat cut you can cook in different ways. Braising is one of the ways you can use it. Here, the beef cheeks are cooked in gravy or sauce. If you are looking forward to having the right outcomes from your dish, make sure you can tell when the beef cheeks cook properly.

In case you are unsure if your beef cheek meat is ready, consider cooking it a little longer. But, have it in your mind that when it overcooks, it will be dry and tough.

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