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The 5 Best Substitutes for Beef Cheeks

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Have you ever tried beef cheek? If not, you’re missing out on one of the most flavorful and versatile cuts of meat.

Beef cheek is a type of muscle located near the cow’s jaw.

It is well-marbled and full of flavor.

The best way to cook beef cheek is to braise it slowly in a liquid (such as red wine or beef broth) until it is tender.

You can then use the meat in various dishes, from tacos to stews.

If you can’t find beef cheek at your local butcher, don’t worry – several substitutes will work just as well.

Some of the best substitutes for beef cheek include oxtail, short rib, brisket, and chuck roast.

So next time you’re looking for a new cut of meat, don’t hesitate to try beef cheek – you won’t be disappointed.

What is Beef Cheek?

what is beef cheek

Beef cheek is a type of meat that comes from the cheek of a cow.

It’s a relatively tough cut of meat, but it’s also very flavorful.

When cooked properly, beef cheek can be extremely tender and juicy.

It’s a popular ingredient in many traditional dishes, such as Mexican barbacoa and Italian osso buco.

Beef cheek is often sold as ground beef or stew meat.

However, it can also be bought whole and cut into smaller pieces.

The meat can be cooked in various ways, including braising, stewing, and grilling.

Beef cheek is an excellent choice for slow-cooking recipes because it becomes more tender the longer it cooks.

If you’re looking for a delicious and unique way to add flavor to your next meal, consider trying beef cheek.

It’s a versatile ingredient used in all sorts of dishes.

Whether you cook it fresh or frozen, the beef cheek is sure to add a delicious touch to your next meal.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Beef Cheeks

For many, beef cheeks are the go-to choice when making a big pot of beef stew.

They’re relatively inexpensive, and they have a lot of flavors.

But what if you can’t find beef cheeks? Here are five substitutes that will work just as well in your recipe.

1 – Beef Short Ribs

beef short ribs

Beef short ribs are a type of cut that is taken from the rib section of a cow.

The ribs are cut short, leaving a strip of meat attached to the bone.

This type of meat is very fatty and rich in flavor, making it a popular choice for meals meant to be enjoyed over a long period.

One of the benefits of beef short ribs is that they can be cooked in various ways.

They can be roasted, braised, grilled, or even smoked, allowing for a wide range of flavor options.

Additionally, beef short ribs are often considered one of the most affordable cuts of meat, making them a great option for budget-minded cooks.

Whether you’re looking for an easy weeknight meal or a show-stopping centerpiece for a special occasion, beef short ribs are sure to please.

2 – Oxtail


Oxtail is a type of meat that comes from a cow’s tail.

While it may not be the most popular cut of beef, it is surprisingly versatile and flavorful.

Oxtail is often used in soups and stews, as the long cooking time helps to break down the tough connective tissue and infuse the meat with flavor.

It can also be slow-cooked until tender and served as the main course.

When choosing oxtail, look for evenly sized pieces with a good amount of marbling.

The tail should also be free of any gristle or bone fragments.

Oxtail is an inexpensive cut of meat that can be used in various ways, so don’t be afraid to experiment with it.

You may find your new favorite recipe.

3 – Beef Brisket

beef brisket

Beef brisket is a tough, fatty cut of meat that is best cooked slowly over low heat.

This tough cut of meat comes from the cow’s breast or lower chest, and it can be difficult to cook if you don’t know how.

However, beef brisket is extremely tender and full of flavor when cooked correctly.

The key to cooking beef brisket is to use a dry rub or marinade to help tenderize the meat, then cook it slowly over low heat until it is fall-apart tender.

Beef brisket is deliciously served with barbecue sauce, mashed potatoes, and green beans, or you can shred it and use it in tacos or burritos.

No matter how you serve it, beef brisket will surely be a hit at your next cookout.

4 – Lamb Shanks

lamb shanks

Lamb shanks are a delicious and hearty cut of meat perfect for winter meals.

The shank is the lower leg of the lamb, and it is filled with rich, flavorful meat.

One of the best things about lamb shanks is that they are relatively inexpensive, making them a great option for budget-minded cooks.

In addition, lamb shanks are very easy to cook.

They can be roasted in the oven, slow-cooked in a Crockpot, or cooked on the grill.

No matter how you choose to cook them, lamb shanks are sure to please your family and friends.

So next time you’re looking for a delicious and hearty meal, give lamb shanks a try.

5 – Beef Chuck

beef chuck

Beef chuck is a relatively inexpensive cut of meat that is well suited for braising, stewing, and other slow-cooking methods.

It is important to cook beef chuck slowly to tenderize the meat and avoid making it tough.

One of the benefits of cooking with beef chuck is that it is a very versatile cut of meat.

Chuck steak can be used in various recipes, from simple stews to more complex dishes.

In addition, beef chuck is a good source of protein and nutrients.

When cooked properly, it can be a delicious and healthy part of any meal.


In conclusion, there are a variety of substitutes for beef cheeks that can be used in a dish.

While each option will provide its unique flavor, all of the substitutes listed above are viable options for those looking to create a delicious meal without using beef cheeks.

With a little creativity, any of these substitutes can help you create a dish that is both flavorful and satisfying.

When it comes time to choose a substitute for beef cheeks, consider all your options and go with the option that best suits your needs.

With a little planning and effort, you can create a delicious meal using any of these substitutes.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Beef Cheeks

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Substitutes


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  • Beef Short Ribs

  • Oxtail

  • Beef Brisket

  • Lamb Shanks

  • Beef Chuck


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.

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