In this episode of the #FOGOlife, I cook low and slow some pieces of Wagyu Cheeks, provided by this really cool company called KOW Steaks. Check them out! https://kowsteaks.com/
KOW Steaks is a family company in Nebraska, and they have been breeding cows for generations. They converted a 747 airplanes to be able to bring quality breeding stock from Japan to the US! They currently have one of the best breeding programs and some of the best cuts in the US.
So what is beef cheeks? They are the cheek muscles of the cow. A lot of people cook them to do barbacoa style tacos, but I thought that if you’re cooking it low and slow, it might be nice for us to do a slider like pork slider...a beef cheeks slider!
I was nervous because I’ve never tried beef cheeks before, let alone cook them! So let’s see what happens, was it the same taste as brisket? Was the beef cheeks slider better than pork sliders? Let's find out!
Charcoal Pro-Tip: I am using our FOGO Super Premium Gold bag, our charcoal with the nice big chunks, perfect for smoking all night long. I added chunks of pecan wood to add extra smoke and flavor.
- FOGO Super Premium Charcoal, the first ingredient. Light with FOGOstarters
- 2 pieces of 10-12 oz of beef cheeks
- Salt and pepper to season
- 1 large yellow onion
- 1 bottle 14 fl oz of Bone Broth - I used Epic Provisions Beef Jalapeno Sea Salt Bone Broth
- Your favorite beer!
- Potato roll
- Pickles - I used Maclure's Spicy Dill Pickles
The Wagyu beef cheeks look amazing. The meat is quite tough though, similar to a brisket and we are going to have to cook these low and slow to render the fat and break down the collagen. We will cook them slowly over a bed of onions and bone broth.
- Slice the onions and place them in a drip pan, then cover with bone broth. Put the drip pan.
- These KOW Cheeks are wagyu and full of flavor already, so I am going easy on the seasoning only salt and pepper.
- I am setting the smoker to 275, and add a few chunks of Pecan wood for extra smoke and flavor.
- Put on the drip pan with the onions and broth, and the beef cheeks on top so the fat can render down.
- After about 2 hours the beef cheeks have a wonderful bark and color to them, they are at around 165 degrees and soaked up tons of smoke for flavor. At this point I am putting them into the drip pan, add the beer and cover them with foil to braise them until they finish around 200 degrees internal temperature.
- Shred the beef cheeks so that you can use it for the sliders. Put into a potato roll and add caramelized onions and sauce from the drip pan. Add pickle to taste.
What are the Results?
I did not know what to expect, but I did think it was going to be somewhat similar to brisket. It even jiggled like a brisket! It was tender but not as tender as I would have hoped. But, it did pull apart. Maybe a bit more time in the smoker would have helped.
In terms of the flavor - it was extremely rich and super flavorful. More so than pulled pork. Usually, in pork sliders, we slather with BBQ sauce to give it that extra taste. With these beef cheeks sliders, we didn’t even touch the BBQ sauce! The flavor was so amazing that we only put some of the caramelized onions and sauce in the drip pan and a pickle. Simple as that!
All in all, I’m very happy we tried beef cheeks. I was so nervous to try something new, but it was all worth it! Now my question is, why isn’t there more beef cheeks on menus? If you can get your hands on beef cheeks, give it a try. You’ll see what I mean!
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