Braised Thai Coconut Beef Cheeks

Braised Thai Coconut Beef Cheeks

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Wow it’s been so long since I’ve posted, where does the time fly? I’m not sure if I mentioned it earlier but I’ve been working at a butcher part time for about five months now. Aside from taking up even more of my time, I am slowly learning the ins and out of butchering. Besides being able to learn a lot more about an industry which I knew very little about, I also have new-found access to meats and parts which I never would have had access too before.

After reading about beef cheeks in a few different places I decided I’d try to hunt some down and give them a try. One thing I learned is that cheeks need to be special ordered from your butcher. When an animal arrives at the butcher from the slaughter house the offals are sent with the animal. Cheeks are traditionally not included with the offals, because they are a lot of extra work to harvest from the head and until recently, have been in little demand.

I lucked into some beef cheeks at work when four appeared in a bag of offals one day. I guess all jobs have perks 🙂

Braised Thai Coconut Beef Cheeks

Braised Thai Coconut Beef Cheeks

Ingredients

  • 2" galangal (or 1" extra ginger)
  • 2" ginger
  • 2 sticks of lemongrass
  • 7-8 coriander root
  • 1/2" finger chili (or to taste)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 beef cheeks
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tbsp white or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • juice of one lime
  • fish sauce to taste (approx. 3/4 tsp)
  • 1-2 cans of coconut cream
  • 6-5 kaffir lime leaves

Instructions

  1. Mash the first six ingredients with a pestal and mortar until everything has broken down into a fiberous paste. It will probably take a solid 15-20 minutes of mashing. You can also break the ingredients down in a food processor but it just doesn’t feel authentic.
  2. Once the outer layer of silverskin has been removed, rub the mixture over both sides of the meat and let sit for at least an hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  4. In a oven proof dutch oven with a lid, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat. Thinly slice the shallot and add it into the coconut oil and sautee until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add half of the coconut cream, the sugar, the tamarind paste, lime juice and fish sauce. Heat and whisk until it has all been dissolved and is heated. Add the beef cheeks into the pot, overlapping if necessary in the pot. Without washing the paste off of the cheeks, pour enough of the remaining coconut cream into the pot until the cheeks are almost covered. Add a little bit more fish sauce to taste to make up for the dilution from the additional coconut cream.
  6. Add the kaffir leaves into the pot and cover with the lid.
  7. Cook covered for approximately an hour to an hour an a half . Check on the meat after 40 minutes and top up with more coconut cream if necessary. Meat is ready when you can easily pull it apart with a fork. Shred the meat and mix it in with the remaining juices in the dutch oven.
  8. Serve over rice and with sauteed vegetables.
http://www.constantvessel.com/braised-thai-coconut-beef-cheeks/

Ingredients

2″ galangal (or 1″ extra ginger)

2″ ginger

2 sticks of lemongrass

7-8 coriander root

1/2″ finger chili (or to taste)

3 garlic cloves

 

2 beef cheeks

 

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 large shallot

2 tbsp white or brown sugar

1 tbsp tamarind paste

juice of one lime

fish sauce to taste (approx. 3/4 tsp)

1-2 cans of coconut cream

6-5 kaffir lime leaves

 

Instructions

Mash the first six ingredients with a pestal and mortar until everything has broken down into a fiberous paste. It will probably take a solid 15-20 minutes of mashing. You can also break the ingredients down in a food processor but it just doesn’t feel authentic.

A Note on the Beef Cheeks

 

Beef cheeks are a tough cut of meat. They need to be cooked slowly to allow the meat break down. The cheek itself comes with a layer of silverskin over one side that needs to be removed with a sharp knife. There is also a thin membrane that runs through the center of the meat which I didn’t remove.

Once the outer layer of silverskin has been removed, rub the mixture over both sides of the meat and let sit for at least an hour or overnight.

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Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a oven proof dutch oven with a lid, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and heat over medium high heat. Thinly slice the shallot and add it into the coconut oil and sautee until starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add half of the coconut cream, the sugar, the tamarind paste, lime juice and fish sauce. Heat and whisk until it has all been dissolved and is heated. Add the beef cheeks into the pot, overlapping if necessary in the pot. Without washing the paste off of the cheeks, pour enough of the remaining coconut cream into the pot until the cheeks are almost covered. Add a little bit more fish sauce to taste to make up for the dilution from the additional coconut cream.

Add the kaffir leaves into the pot and cover with the lid.

Cook covered for approximately an hour to an hour an a half . Check on the meat after 40 minutes and top up with more coconut cream if necessary. Meat is ready when you can easily pull it apart with a fork. Shred the meat and mix it in with the remaining juices in the dutch oven.

Serve over rice and with sauteed vegetables.

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