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View Full Version : Veal cheeks vs. beef cheeks vs. ?



mano
10-24-2013, 03:07 PM
I'm looking to pair a protein with Keller's potato pave and came up with braised beef or veal cheeks. Both are available fresh. Short ribs is also thought. Never having tasted either cheek, is one preferred over the other?

Also, any recipes are welcome. I have some veal stock already.

erikz
10-24-2013, 03:16 PM
In general I do prefer veal cuts over beef cuts. So even without having tasted veal cheeks, I'd go for those.

tkern
10-24-2013, 03:31 PM
Depends on how much you want to serve vs cost. Veal cheeks are smaller with less connective tissue and beef cheeks are large and need a bit more time to break down. Both are can be made awesome or destroyed based on your braise.

mano
10-24-2013, 03:44 PM
Depends on how much you want to serve vs cost. Veal cheeks are smaller with less connective tissue and beef cheeks are large and need a bit more time to break down. Both are can be made awesome or destroyed based on your braise.

Veal is $8/lb. @ 5 lb. minimum. Beef is $5/lb. @ 10 lb. minimum. 10 medium/small servings as this is a 5 course dinner with 3 hors d'oerves.

My thought is sear the cheeks, remove, add mire poix and caramelize + aromatics (rosemary, juniper berries, thyme and garlic), deglaze with wine, replace cheeks, add tomato paste, veal stock, and braise. Don't know how long, though.

I have a vacuum sealer but no experience doing sous vide. No way to keep water moving, either.

Travis, tell me your awesome recipe.

Mucho Bocho
10-24-2013, 03:55 PM
Mano, Why not Sous Vide the cheeks? Sear, add braise to bag and SV 129 for 24hrs. Remove, refresh braise, pan sear meat and serve?

daveb
10-24-2013, 10:34 PM
I've done beef cheeks exactly one time but would like to do them again. They were a ***** to clean, weighed them before and after and remember at least 25% waste. After long braise the texture was good and the flavor was surprisingly intense. BEEF! Don't know that veal would have that effect.

Remember thinking they would be a good candidate to SV. (and I'm not a big fan of Boil 'n Bag cooking:cool2:)

+1 on Travis recipe.

cookinstuff
10-25-2013, 01:17 AM
hmmm, typically off a veal cheek after braising you might be looking at a 4-6oz cheek, if your doing a tasting you are golden. But if you are wanting to offer a good 7oz portion of cheek, I would go for the beef. It has been a long time since I have braised cheeks, I would keep checking them and really catch them right when they start coming apart, any longer and you won't be getting clean portions and will be looking at ragu.

I always clean up my cheeks and give them a nice sear. As long as you take away that really tough strip (you will know the one) the rest should break down in cooking. I make a mirepoix, and saute it off with some beer or wine, reduce it down, throw some beef stock or demi in, and let it reduce for a bit.

I cool down my cheeks in the fridge, cool down my mirepoix/stock until its all gelatin in the pan. I always make sure everything is cold cold, then pack it all together in bags seal them up, 68 C for 3 days and you are golden, split each cheek into three pieces, they slice great out of the sous vide.

This is how I do mine, so I almost forget what they are like braised, I am thinking you should be able to lift them out of your braise, cool them, slice them, and reheat them in your braise for service. Hope this was helpful, oh they shouldn't take too long in a nice 275 oven, I would do them one day in advance though, so you can re-evaluate.

JohnnyChance
10-25-2013, 01:35 AM
I like beef because they are bigger and well, beefier. Plus your yield is not great on them, lots of loss after cleaning them up. daveb said 25%, I think the last time I did them it was closer to 50%. But maybe what I got from my supplier and what you get from a butcher differ. If you love beef pho with the chewy gelatinous tendon in it, get the beef. It has a big strip right through the center that I leave in that turns in the best gooey connective tissue when tender. And if you have left overs from the 10#, they will seal and freeze nice and make great sandwiches for future meals/snacks.

I like to braise them with a ton of onions, some garlic, beef or veal stock, red wine maybe some tomato paste and some combination of red wine vinegar/malt vinegar/worcestershire. The added vinegar is really nice to cut the richness of the fat, connective tissue...not to mention the loads of cream & butter in your pave.

On an slightly unrelated note, I put potato paves on our menu last year. Dear god was it hell keeping up on those.

cookinstuff
10-25-2013, 03:15 AM
hehe, i made a pavé today, how do the cheeks hold up after braising? Portionable?

JohnnyChance
10-25-2013, 03:22 AM
hehe, i made a pavé today, how do the cheeks hold up after braising? Portionable?

Yeah just let em cool, all the gelatin sets them up nice. Then portion, then bring them back up in the onions & braising liquid. Obviously be a little mindful when reheating, but it's not like you have to be super delicate with them.

marc4pt0
10-25-2013, 07:54 AM
Beef cheeks will be a bit easier to clean than veal. 10# of beef will take a Lot less time to clean through opposed to veal. Veal will carry a more mellow/neutral flavor so will pick up more from your broth. Beef will have a bit more assertive flavor than veal but will be just as delicious.
If you go with beef, maybe try something old school that is always a homerun- marinate the cleaned cheeks in a great (cheap) read wine over night along with your mire poix, garlic and rosemary. Strain wine out and reserve. Pat cheeks dry and sear over high heat for 30 seconds each side, twice. Remove from pan, add reserved wine and aromatics and bring to quick simmer with a stock.Strain into braising vessel and add cheeks plus whatever aromatics you desire. Braise at 225 for couple hours or until tender. If your oven will go down to 175, do it there


I wrote this last night around 1ish but feel asleep half way through...

berko
10-25-2013, 08:29 AM
i like pigling cheeks.

marc4pt0
10-25-2013, 08:36 AM
Got some in the "hot tub" right now for our Bourbon & Pork challenge this weekend!

mano
10-25-2013, 08:47 AM
These responses are why chefs and cooks rock.