Kobe beef cheeks are muscles on the cow’s face made very dense due to a lifetime of chewing. While they’re too tough for any quick cooking applications, that dense tissue becomes tender and incredibly flavorful (Kobe/wagyu beef cheeks even more so) when slow cooked. While beef cheeks are most often braised, some cultures slow-roast them instead (as in Mexican barbicoa).
These beef cheeks are from waygu cattle that are descendents from Japanese herds and raised in America. This style of beef is commonly referred to as “kobe beef” (aka American kobe beef, kobe-style beef). Its intricate marbling is legendary and the result of careful breeding and a highly regimented diet. That marbling creates beef that is perhaps the most tender and juicy available.
Kobe beef cheeks are frozen together as a block within each of the two bags. For best quality, we recommend thawing and using a whole bag at once rather than thawing the whole bag, using some, and refreezing individual cheeks.
RECIPES & TIPS
The easiest way to prepare beef cheeks at home is by first searing them to develop a flavorful crust, and then slow-braising them in flavorful liquid until tender (about 3-4 hours in a 300 degree oven). You may be able to reduce this time using a pressure cooker.
Beef cheeks are often prepared using braising liquids with similar flavors to pot roast (we recommend veal demi-glace or beef stock, garlic, red wine, onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, and porcini mushrooms).
A beef cheek entrée serving is generally regarded to be two cheeks per person.