UK BBQ Mag Summer 2017 - Page 88

88

I always order my Beef Cheeks over the phone from Bob’s Family Butchers where I get consistently great cheeks every time, butchered and trimmed up ready to go. Trim your beef cheeks removing all of the fat on the surface and silverskin that you can, this only takes a few minutes but helps you achieve an amazing finish.

Once they are trimmed they should look like this

:

Now they're ready to be rubbed - apply your rub of choice evenly across both sides of the cheeks - a nice mix of sweet and earthy profiles works well with beef cheeks.

Get them onto your smoker for an indirect cook at 275f (I prefer the finish running a little bit hotter when it comes to cheeks so anywhere between 275-300f will work great). I use Cherry wood to smoke them but that’s my go to with a lot of beef so you can choose whichever you like. At these high temperatures the cheeks will usually take between 4-5 hours but sometimes you get the old stubborn one which can take a little longer but I will mention a tip later to help defeat these ones but this is why it’s importnat to cook to feel as well as temperature as each cheek is not equal (as we all know haha).

After approx 1 hour but when the internal temp reaches 165-170f I then begin the braise stage of the cook. In a pan bring to the boil a combination of brown sugar, stout and honey to compliment the sweet and earthy rub - bring this to the boil and mix ingredients to combine.

Once boiling reduce to a simmer until the cheeks are ready for their plunge. Pour the braising liquid into a tray and add your cheeks - they will remain in here until they are done now but you should flip them over every hour to make sure both sides to the cheek get a braise (be sure not to throw this liquid away at the end of the cook as it forms an awesome sauce to serve with the cheeks to pour on or dip into). You are aiming for an internal of 205-210f but more importantly probing with no resistance and feeling soft under the touch of your finger (in a heat proof glove obviously).

Your tip for tough cheeks which aren’t budging is to wrap the tray in foil to create a streaming environment as well as a braise this will help finish any more stubborn cheeks off. Beef Cheeks can be served two ways - sliced or pulled. My personal favourite is pulled but a few members of my family prefer sliced but to get to the pulled stage just continue to push the cheeks further into the cook and we are aiming for feeling really soft, when pushed with your finger it will begin to fall apart in the tray.

Dan

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BEEF CHEEKS 101