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Ox cheeks

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    Ox cheeks

    I have had ox cheeks several times, and it is always a delicacy. The meat is fibrous and tough, but with good marbling. It has a lot of flavor, kind of like a hanger steak. That means it should be well suited to some proper bbq. When served in a restaurant, it is always braised for many hours.

    I bought two cheeks, about 1 pound each. I dry brined them overnight.

    The morning after I trimmed them, and applied the first rub which consisted of smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder.

    After 4 hours I took the cheeks out of the fridge (from their plastic bags), and applied a generous amount of coarsely ground black pepper. I figured this was the second flavor ”attack”.

    Said and done, got the kamado fired up and dialed it in at 225 deg F. I threw in a couple of cherry wood chunks, I thought it would be a good match.

    After internal temp hit deg 150 deg F (65 deg C) I wrapped them, mostly on account of the cheeks being thin. I waited until inner temp was 195 deg F (90 deg C), then wrapped them in foil and a bath towel, and let them rest for an hour.

    I wanted a lighter plate, so I made some salad with camembert cheese and apples. I served it with a red wine sauce that I reduced to half, to concentrate the flavors. Also, just to top it up, I had some Sauce Bearnaise also (store bought). That is about the best sauce ever for a steak.

    The red wine reduction in the making (before sifting)

    Overall the flavor was really good, with a perfectly balanced cherry smoke flavor. The only thing I would do differently the next time was to perhaps wrap it a bit earlier, and leave it on the bbq until inner temp was 203 deg F (95 deg C). I think it would improve, I was a bit eager today.
    The cheeks, sliced after resting:
    Click image for larger version

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    The end result:
    Click image for larger version

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    Has anyone else done ox cheeks?

    Those look great Henrick! I've honestly not heard of them before.


      That looks awesome, cheek is a great cut, salmon cheeks are fantastic grilled, I bet this would be out of this world!


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks! Yes, I couldn't agree more, salmon cheeks are amazing.

      Henrik, that looks tasty!

      I live in South Texas, just a few miles from Mexico, and all the local Mexican restaurants serve barbacoa which is beef cheek meat that is pulled and usually served salted with fresh cut onion and cilantro on a plate or in tacos. It is very moist, very fatty, very tender and so delicious! I have never cooked it but now I want to smoke it. I am thinking dalmation rub, tortillas and fresh cut onions and cilantro.

      If you ever get a chance to eat authentic Mexican barbacoa don't pass it up... cheek meat is tasty.


      • Henrik
        Henrik commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks, I will definitely try it, (proper) Mexican food is one of my favorites! Do you know how the restaurants cook it? Almost all recipes I have found are based on braising. I would like to know if there are other ways of getting the cheeks really tender, preferrably with a grill involved :-)

      Those look really good Henrik!

      I have looked for these several times around here... but alas, I guess people here don't like this kind of delicacy
      Last edited by smarkley; October 2, 2014, 08:16 PM.


        I suppose hog jowls would be the pork version of ox cheeks... can't find those here either.


          Hi. I'm in the process of smoking 2 x 1.5lb Ox Cheeks. Never done them before, (but have eaten braised ones many times in restaurants). Currently stalled at 175* 3.5 hrs in. Not going to foil, & gonna let it ride till 205*. Pit temp @ 260*, Minion & Hickory.
          Edit: I forgot. I'll post up some pics of the cook later.....
          Last edited by (Tony); May 17, 2015, 08:34 AM.


            Nice post, I'm going to give them a try. Is that cornichons on that salad?

            Last edited by Jerod Broussard; May 17, 2015, 08:44 PM.


            • Henrik
              Henrik commented
              Editing a comment
              Yes it is, I think cornichons goes well with a mature cheese like in this salad.


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