Today, cooking is often filled with one-upmanship. Better – or more unusual – spicings. Less common, more technical or just plain cooler preparation methods. Exotic ingredients. Recipes that read like a novel.
Know what I mean?
And that’s. . .OK! I love seeing all the different things brilliant, creative chefs come up with to transform simple ingredients into astonishing dishes.
But sometimes, just cooking a great ingredient simply, with a lot of respect and maybe even a little love, is all you need to do to create an amazing dish. So it was with my beef cheeks.
I had about 2 lbs. of beautiful beef cheek – a bit of ultra lean muscle from a grass fed organically raised cow. Beef cheeks are a pretty unusual cut for your average American supermarket, so I didn’t try to get them there. I found them at our local Farmers’ Market, straight from a happy, grass-fed mostly-organic cow. You can also find them – or order them – at most butcher shops.
When confronted by an unusual ingredient or a cut that’s not often used, chefs often succumb to the urge to tart things up a bit. With beef cheeks, you can marinate them. Dry rub and refrigerate them overnight in plastic wrap. Or without plastic wrap. Create an exotic sauce with multiple dried peppers that’s also a marinade. Cook them sous vide with a ton of spices and aromatics. Sear them, slice them, poach them – the methods are endless.
All these things – don’t get me wrong – are good and some of them are very good indeed. When great chefs get creative, they can fashion extraordinary dishes from simple ingredients.
But I wanted to go for a simple preparation method as well. Something that wasn’t fussy, but that was as good as anything you could get by fussing.
Here’s what I came up with – a method that blends utter simplicity and foolproof cookery with a few reasonable seasonings for a rich, totally delicious dish that will disappear so fast it’ll make your head spin. Read on for recipe and a bonus recipe too. Here at Calorie Factory, we aim to please! Read the rest of this entry »