Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Ox Cheek/Pig Cheek


Recommended Posts

Not sure where you could "source" them from, but my local butcher will get them in for me if i ask them a week in advance. Try your local butcher, it's a great way of getting to know them. One week cheeks, the next veal shin, the next sweetbreads, tripe, trotters etc.... I made a conscious effort last year to ask for stuff that i never saw on the counter just to build up a little rapport with them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Adey,

Whilst I like the Ginger Pig, they are a bit over-priced (IMHO). Any good butchers that cuts up the whole animal themselves can do this for you.

I have found, amazingly, that a lot of butchers simply throw away the head. When I have bought other cuts of meat two butchers I have used actually gave me the cheeks for free. Worth a try. Don't forget that you will need to remove any glands from the cheek. These are relatively easy to spot pinkish fleshy parts on the inside of the cheek. It's not as gross as it sounds!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Joesan, I've read how to do it in the Fergus Henderson's book, he said when you brine they float out anyway. But still couldn't score any, ahem, head.

What about Ox cheek?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been told by my butcher that I can't get beefs cheeks in the UK due to the regulations post BSE.

I would love it if someone could tell me that's not true.

Definitely not true - in fact, you will find it on many restaurant menus. Most butchers should be able to source them for you if you ask them nicely, although if they don't butcher the entire animal for their store they may ask you to buy a whole case as this will be how they have to get it.

Ginger pig do sell them, but equally head down to Smithfields to the same suppliers they buy from and purchase them at a quarter of the cost!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been told by my butcher that I can't get beefs cheeks in the UK due to the regulations post BSE.

I would love it if someone could tell me that's not true.

Definitely not true - in fact, you will find it on many restaurant menus.

Had them last week at Maze in a dish featuring beef cheek and tongue - very good it was too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I live in Blackpool, no-where is decent!

There is only one quality butcher, Clarks in Lytham and he can't get me either Ox or pig. The only place I've found is catering outfit Althams in Morecambe, but I don't want an account in order to buy a minium order of a few cases.

Edited by adey73 (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've had frozen meat sent successfully in the past (One of the Buccleuch estates very nice steak boxes, sent as a surprise but very welcome Christmas present) If you wanted to take the risk of it arriving OK I could get you some, freeze it and send it to you. (The Buccleuch box was individually vac packed, then packed with blocks of dry ice (but freezer blocks would do as well) then cased in polystrene) I reckon I could package it pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Supposedly beef heads are not allowed to leave the slaughter houses, so a normal butcher won't have them on his premsies unless he is doing the slaughtering which is unlikley as it was banned after foot & mouth.

If you/your butcher can get the slaughter house to remove them, which is not as straightforward as a pig (whoses heads generally are supplied to butchers), you have to have a vet on site to okay everything. They would also have to plug the back of the head where the spinal cord went as the aim is not to let the brain intervere with the rest of the meat. The only by-product allowed from the head is the tongue.

Most beef cheeks that are used are probably imported from countries where, according to my meat supplier, 'there isn't this bullshit paperwork' like Ireland and France and as a result they loose a bit of money as the heads just get burnt.

Of course, my meat supplier may just not want to be arsed to do this, maybe ravelda knows more about how to get UK beef cheeks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Supposedly beef heads are not allowed to leave the slaughter houses, so a normal butcher won't have them on his premsies unless he is doing the slaughtering which is unlikley as it was banned after foot & mouth.

If you/your butcher can get the slaughter house to remove them, which is not as straightforward as a pig (whoses heads generally are supplied to butchers), you have to have a vet on site to okay everything. They would also have to plug the back of the head where the spinal cord went as the aim is not to let the brain intervere with the rest of the meat. The only by-product allowed from the head is the tongue.

Most beef cheeks that are used are probably imported from countries where, according to my meat supplier, 'there isn't this bullshit paperwork' like Ireland and France and as a result they loose a bit of money as the heads just get burnt.

Of course, my meat supplier may just not want to be arsed to do this, maybe ravelda knows more about how to get UK beef cheeks.

that's exactly what my man said.

my local butcher who generally buys a beast a week and cuts it up himself said the abbatoir won't give the cows heads back, pigs head/cheeks no problem and i'm sure you can import them from rungis etc quite easily if you are in the trade.

you don't win friends with salad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was suprised to see calf brain on menu at Galvin Bistro a few nights ago, I thought that pretty much the entire head was banned post BSE, but if not, then definitely the brain. Based on what several people have been told by their butchers it seems I'm not alone in thinking this. Do any of the chefs on here have a better idea of what the position is- presumably if Maze and Galvin can 'get head' (good line, deserved to be re-used) surely we can buy it too?

Or do they have to ship it from France- that would be great, BSE probably eradicated in UK, still prevalent in France, would be typical for there to be a rule meaning we can only eat french beef for the riskiest part of the animal. (I was about to say makes me think twice about ordering it but then realised had tete de veau last time I was in France, so guess I didn't think twice and probably won't do so in the future.)

I may have to lie down before I start writing letters about bendy bananas to the daily mail.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

(I was about to say makes me think twice about ordering it but then realised had tete de veau last time I was in France, so guess I didn't think twice and probably won't do so in the future.

I did much the same thing in France a couple of weeks ago. What's the incidence of CJD in France? I'd have thought it would be sky-high if there is a strong link between it and BSE. Let's hope it's not...

I've had calf's brain in St John as well (much better than the one I had in France, incidentally). I'd assumed that was British brain from a young animal (the "calf" bit gives that away) and that was legally okay. Was I wrong on that assumption?

PS

Edinburgh

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

braised some cheek yesterday, wonderful smell in the house. It is the only braising cut for me. i like oxtail but it has different applications. i purchased mine from Macken bros in chiswick, i rang expecting to have to order and he had some. it was a lot les than £9.50 kg but he might have given me restaurant rates. no good for you adey since you live bloody miles away, the stuff in the uk is usually french, a good constant supply in london is pcc they might mail order. this is an oldish thread and you are probably surrounded by the stuff by now!

Matt Christmas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure where you could "source" them from, but my local butcher will get them in for me if i ask them a week in advance.  Try your local butcher, it's a great way of getting to know them.  One week cheeks, the next veal shin, the next sweetbreads, tripe, trotters etc....  I made a conscious effort last year to ask for stuff that i never saw on the counter just to build up a little rapport with them.

hmmmm, rapport or a bloody annoying customer! :raz:

Matt Christmas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...