Cheeks and Shanks…

…and geese better scurry!

Leftovers to anyone who recognizes that reference. And yes, I mean anyone who recognizes that reference, not just the first one to respond. I really have that many leftovers.

Today was day two of braising (the roof.) Chef Karen was out sick today so Chef Erica filled in (also of “Chopped” fame.) Each chef has a bit of a different approach to how we go about our recipes. Typically we split up the most involved recipes for the day among the 3 groups in the room, with all 3 groups doing some of the smaller recipes. Chef Erica was all about all 3 groups doing all 5 recipes. That’s a lot of veal shanks and beef cheeks going around.

Anyone have a fork?

And yes, while certain proteins have odd names for different parts of the body (like the shoulder of pork being called the butt), beef cheeks are actually smiling cow cheeks. A particularly challenging cut of meat since cows spend all of their time chewing – the more excercised the part of the body, the tougher the cut of meat. You may have also heard people refer to cutting with/against the grain when it comes to meat, meaning that you’re cutting along the alignment of the fibers, or across the fibers. Beef cheeks, as Chef Erica put it, are all “crazy grain.” Just pick a point and start cutting because you’ll never be able to follow it enough to cut across it.

So there you go. Everything you never wanted to know about beef cheeks.

Happy cows get cooked in large amounts of red wine

The veal shank (upper forearm), when braised with white wine and tomatoes, is more commonly known as osso buco, meaning “mouth of the bone” in Italian, since you’re getting a cross section of what would be the humerus bone on a human, with the delicious marrow getting cooked along the way as well.

Get that parsley out of there and give me a tiny spoon

And this concludes today’s quadroped anatomy lesson. Bon Appetite!

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4 Responses to Cheeks and Shanks…

  1. Cara says:

    Crazy grain? Isn’t than an Ozzy Osbourne song?

  2. Mo says:

    I think it has something to do with a surrey with the fringe on top!

    Please post my leftovers immediately.

  3. christina song says:

    those greens look mighty tempting!

    also a big fan of the eggs benedict šŸ™‚

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