Cheeky Amber, Pizza Nero

I haven’t cooked beef cheeks since we were last in Sydney in 2006, and the continued ban on cow head use in the UK meant this cut hasn’t been a goer for over a decade. Though tongue has continued to be available- not sure how that works? Clearly prions are more likely to be located in chewing muscles, not lingual ones as they are closer to the brain??

Shona picked up some organic cheeks from meat direct, who’ve been popping up some meaty treats this last month or so.

As you can see, these fellas are beautifully marbled and had copious chewy related connective tissue running through them- they might be the most resilient meat I’ve ever had the pleasure to slice. Even the Samurai knife had to be pushed through this with some effort.

A few of options sprang tom mind with this; with ceps, with beer or sweet soy anise, as Shona does with the belly pork. I’m currently loving the Rogers beer from Little Creatures, but Shona picked up some seriously pongy ceps from Greenies. The beer won (a cep risotto was later made).

  • 1 bottle Rogers ale
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • bay leaf

All in a pan and the beer reduced to half volume. The cheeks (about 800g total) were chopped into largish chunks, and put in the slow cooker. The beery liquor strained off and poured over the cheeks, and left to cook for about 8hr.

Smashed Nicola potatoes and carrots, newly made English mustard and washed down with Roger, naturally. Had I been thinking, some suet dumplings would have been tremendous. Just need suet……

Meat direct also had some Polish black pudding. I cooked slice till just crisp with some pancetta (home made) and some olive oil, in a baking tray as pizza number one was cooking above. Pizza no2 got this porky assault and my god it was good.

I’ve also added a few chunks to a butter bean and kale soup which was heart warming stuff and completely inappropriate for this climate. Nevermind.


About willeats1

Primarily gastronomic explorer. Occasional father, emergency physician and mountain biker. View all posts by willeats1

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