If you’ve never had beef cheeks before don’t be intimidated! Cheeks are some of the most flavorful cut of beef that exist – when prepared correctly. I find the best success comes from braising them like we did in this beef cheek stew recipe.
The most difficult part of cooking beef cheeks can be finding a place to buy them from. A good butcher shop may have them – or may be able to order them for you. They are some of the most affordable cuts you’re likely to find.
When preparing beef cheeks you’ll find cutting them can be more difficult than other cuts of meat. There is a tough layer of fat that will take a little extra effort to cut before cooking (once it’s been braised this fat will add lots of flavor and become your best friend).
When you first glance at the recipe for the stew you may be wondering why I’ve used chicken stock instead of beef stock. The answer is simple – this stew is one of the richest, deepest meals I make and adding beef stock would make it overly rich. If you decide to use beef stock I recommend cutting the wine in half.
The shredded potato may seem like an odd ingredient to you – it’s purpose is to add texture to the stew. The shredded pieces will fall apart as they cook and thicken the delicious broth that’s perfect for slurping with a spoon or dipping bread into.
Beef Cheek Stew Recipe
- 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ pound potato (1 medium), shredded with a cheese grater
- 2 Tbsp grapeseed oil
- 1.5 pounds beefcheeks, cut into bite-sized chunks (0.5 x 1 inches)
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 0.5 tsp cayenne
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1 Tbsp yellow mustard powder
- 3 medium onions cut into 1 inch long chunks
- 1 cup carrot, chopped coarse
- 0.5 cup celery, chopped coarse
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped fine
- 1 jalapeno, chopped fine (optional)
- 2-3 sprigs thyme
- ½ pound of mushrooms, ripped into chunks (about 12 medium cremini or button)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1.5 pounds sweet potato (2), chopped the same size as the beef
- Turn oven to 375 to preheat while you prep the stew.
- Pour 4 cups of stock into an oven-safe pot with a tight fitting lid. Add potato and turn pot to high.
- Heat a cast iron or large fry pan on medium high. Add oil into pan.
- Toss beef in dried spices and salt.
- When is hot (or as it just begins to smoke), add ⅓ of beef. Brown (or lighlty blacken) meat on all sides. Once 1 batch is done, add the beef to the stock and continue cooking remaining batches of beef until all is in the stock pot.
- Add a small amount of oil into frying pan and add onions, carrot, celery, ginger, jalapeno and thyme. Cook until ingredients start to soften, about 4 minutes. Add veggies to stock pot.
- Add mushrooms to frying pan, stir until they begin to soften (about 3 minutes). Add red wine, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 4 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and wine to stock pot followed by the sweet potato. Stir the mixture.
- Place cover on pot and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove, stir and serve.