Braised Beef Cheek Stew - Slow Cooked in 48 Hour Bone Broth
BEEF CHEEKS! That cut of meat you would look at in the butcher's window and think "wtf do I do with that?" I come to you today, friends, with the answer to all your queries! (well... not all your queries, but definitely your query regarding what to do with beef cheeks).
Beef cheeks are quite possibly my favourite cut of meat (yes, really!). Cooked properly, they are so tender you can cut them with a spoon, and they are the perfect cut to make a rich, nutritious stew. I've been told that cattle farmers often don't sell the beef cheeks and keep them to cook at home because they are so precious!
Braising involves browning the beef on the pan, which helps bring out the flavour of the meat. It's not an essential step (you could just put the raw beef cheeks into the broth if your lazyAF), but braising really adds some dimension to your stew... and also how good is the word braised.
This recipe is basically two in one; it first calls for making bone broth, and then using the broth to slow-cook your beef cheeks and turn it into a stew. By using broth that's been simmered for 2 days, you really get all the nutritional benefits of bone broth plus the nutrients of the meat and vegetables. You can be sure that Weston A. Price is smiling from the grave!
You could purchase bone broth and use pre-made broth as a base for the stew, or skip steps 1 and 2 all together and stew the beef cheek in regular water (not broth). Using broth makes the dish infinite times more flavourful and nutritious, but if you don't have the bones (or the time), you can just put your cheeks in the slow cooker (and even add 1/2 a bottle of organic, sulphate-free red wine) and let it simmer for 4-6 hours.
- About 1.5 lbs of organic, pasture raised, grass-fed beef cheeks (mine came frozen; so thaw before using)
- About 4 quarts (enough to fill your slow cooker about 3/4 of the way) of bone broth (get ingredients and recipe HERE)
- 1/2 tablespoon organic rosemary (dried)
- few cracks of black pepper
- few cracks of sea salt
- 4-5 large organic carrots
- 1/2 a large stalk of organic celery
1. First off, make your bone broth. Because the stew calls for adding carrots and celery, I opted not to include the carrots and celery in the broth; so feel free to leave out the veg from the broth portion of the recipe. My broth recipe is HERE.
2. When your broth is ready, strain all the bones and return the broth into the slow cooker.
3. Sear your beef cheeks on a pan with high heat (simply brown the sides, but leave the meat completely raw on the inside).
4. Add in your seared beef cheeks + rosemary, salt, & pepper, to the broth in the slow cooker. Let the cheeks simmer on high for 5-6 hours.
5. Add in the carrots and celery (chopped) to your stew, and let simmer on low for about 30-45 minutes (until the veg is tender).
1. Super important to go organic/ pasture raised/ grass-fed with bones for broth, for two reasons. Bones store heavy metal contamination, so if your animal was exposed to GMO grain, and harmful chemicals during its life (unnatural feed/ lifestyle) you will be extracting those stored neurotoxins and drinking a poisonous broth. And secondly, to get the benefits (amino profile, minerals, etc) you want to make sure the animal whose bones you're using have collected these nutrients over a lifetime (which you are then extracting over a slow 48-hour simmer into your broth).
2. Make sure you add the vegetables only at the very end of your simmer, otherwise they will be complete mush by the time your meat is cooked.
3. Feel free to play around with other cuts of stewing meats, and other vegetables!
4. All the quantities for this recipe are completely up to you; basically you want to fill your slow cooker 3/4 of the way with broth, then add in your stewing meat for 5-6 hours, and then add in your veggies at the end to soften before serving.