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Can anyone help me with recipes for Wagyu cheek?


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I went to the butcher today to pick up a brisket I'd ordered - here in Australia it's not a popular enough cut to be routinely available - and got to talking with the cheery lass behind the counter.

Anyhow, thanks to my terrible impulse shopping streak, I walked out of there with the brisket, as well as the last of their Wagyu beef cheeks. Two pairs, frozen solid in cryovac, weighing together about 1.4 kilos or about 3lb. I was also offered Wagyu brisket, but with a fat cap that was a full third of the thickness, and at $33 a kilo, I passed on that.

I wasn't prepared for how huge the cheeks were. They're each bigger than my hand!

I was wondering if anyone here had any good recipes for Wagyu cheek. My instinct is to try and preserve the marbling with a quick sear tataki style, but I don't think the structure of cheek muscle will let me get away with it. Or I could braise it like normal ox cheek, but surely you would lose all the fat, like you would if overcooking foie gras..?

Somebody help? It's surprisingly hard to find Wagyu cheek recipes with Google. Most of the links are restaurant reviews. So I'm kinda stumped here. :smile:

" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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low and slow...chuck the cryovac unopened in a waterbath at 58C for a day (24 hours) or so.

Cheek is pretty tough and has lots of connective tissue so needs time to soften. Wagyu will have lots of fat that you do not want to render and lose.

You could also BBQ it like brisket, low and slow.

Now you have the meat cooked there are lots of ways to serve:

sear and slice, hot or cold with pickle and salad or coleslaw, or cube in sauce, like a decontructed stew, or shred with pasta...

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I've tried Beef cheeks sous-vide all kinds of temperatures and ways and can't seem to find a nice texture, to really get that melt in the mouth richness you want from this cut go with the traditional sear and braise method. I know some will say it's a waste of good wagyu meat, but I find with the really tough cuts of wagyu, once you braise them they have this incredibly rich taste and silky texture which you don't get with regular beef.

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Solely for the sake of research (yeah, right) I tried a sous vide Wagyu cheek dish at a local restaurant a few weeks ago.

The strangest thing was that parts of the meat had oddly olivey greenish streaks to it. Tasted okay, and I had no ill effects afterward.

What was that stuff?

" ..Is simplicity the best

Or simply the easiest

The narrowest path

Is always the holiest.. "

--Depeche Mode - Judas

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