A majority of the time you mention beef cheek it is met with a wide-eyed look of concern. However, it’s actually quite silly when you stop to think about why this cut makes people uncomfortable. Like every other cut, the cheek is just a muscle, but the fact that it is harvested from the cow’s head for some reason grosses eaters out. Then they proceed to eat their weight in cheeseburgers. (Editor’s note: if anyone can help me identify where the cheeseburger muscle is located on a cow please send me a direct message.)

For those who have put that silliness aside, have discovered that there is gold in them cheeks. Cows are constantly chewing, therefore, their cheeks are laden with connective tissue. This interweaving of tough tissue that scares most people off is actually what makes this cut so special. As you pass 180 degrees internal temperature magic starts to happen and the collagen from this connective tissue turns to gelatin. This gelatin creates a deliciously silky bite that you can not get from any of the more sought after steak cuts. If you like brisket I would be willing to bet that you will love beef cheek. Like brisket, when it comes to cooking cheeks you have to take it low and slow but, since they are smaller they take a fraction of the total cook time that your beloved brisket takes. Unless you are raising minivan full of future offensive linemen, an entire brisket can be overkill for a weekday meal in most households. This is why we lean to cheeks now more often than brisket in our house.

I get that some of you willing souls have only been bound by access. But, luckily for you, we are here to free you from the shackles of your boring meat counter. Go check out the beef cheek boxes we have available here and expand your horizons.