Beef cheek is known for the perfect slow-cooking, this unique beef cut can be an unbelievably melt-in-your-mouth, rich, and tender stewed dish.
Probably, the most popular beef cheek dish is slow-cooking in red wine sauce.
I believe so.
I got this recipe idea-slow-cooking beef cheek in Japanese miso-based soup when I was craving Dote, which is Nagoya-Japanese style beef tendon stew.
As you know, we hardly find beef tendon in regular grocery stores in the US.
I tried to use fatty chuck roast contained plenty of tendon parts, it was just OK.
The tendon parts were melt-in-your-mouth, tender, and rich in gelatinous taste, however, the meat part was a little dry and chewy.
Then, I saw beef cheeks at Sam’s club, and I got a sudden inspiration.
Indeed, the rich melt-in-your-mouth beef cheek texture is similar to the meat in Japanese beef tendon stew called Gyusuji Nikomi.
You’ll need a little patience to prepare cheeks, and cook it slowly, but, it’s an easy dish once you get ready to cook abound all ingredients.
You can use your instant pot or slow cooker. We don’t use pressure-cooking this time since the dish can be done for only around 3 hours.
Actually, leftovers taste absolutely better the next day!
- What’s Japanese Beef Tendon Stew
- How To Prepare Beef Cheeks
- Which Types Of Miso You Should Use For Nagoya Dote
- Nagoya-Japanese Style Tender Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek
- How To Serve Japanese-Inspired Beef Cheek Stew
What’s Japanese Beef Tendon Stew
Japanese beef tendon stew is called “Gyusuji Nikomi” in Japanese, it is the staple comfort food at home and at Izakayas.
For more details, please read this post later!
How To Prepare Beef Cheeks
The secret tip to prepare beef cheeks is to soak beef cheek meat in plenty of water before cooking.
It doesn’t matter before/after trimming.
You can see bloody and fatty beef cheeks when unpacking.
Soak the meat for 1-2 hours to remove blood from unique beef cuts.
Trim up the meat if needed. (Probably, you need to do so. )
Remove massive fatty parts and blood vessels.
Don’t trim tendons and muscle fibers too much.
Tendon and muscle fibers will be also a great part to eat in this recipe.
I understand that you don’t want to try tendon anyway.
However, the beef cheeks will come apart when you remove tendons that connect meat and muscles while cooking.
Therefore, leave tendons and muscle fibers moderately.
Which Types Of Miso You Should Use For Nagoya Dote
- Red Miso
- Hatcho Miso
- Mix (yellow) Miso
Rich beef cheek stew goes well with red miso which has also a rich strong miso flavor.
Especially, the recipe is inspired by Nagoya-style beef tendon stew called “Dote” or “Dote-Ni” which is the beef tendon dish stewed with Nagoya-local redo miso.
So, use red miso or Nagoya local red miso called Hatcho miso.
The red miso that I use in this recipe is this product.
Yet, red miso and Hatcho miso have rich strong Miso flavor, so you can also use yellow miso called mix miso.
Hatcho Miso is a type of red miso that has a dark strong miso flavor in any other miso.
Originally produced in Okazaki City, a suburb of Nagoya City, Aichi, Japan.
Hatcho Miso is famous for its typical miso in the Nagoya region.
Although you can find it easily in the Nagoya region or Amazon, Hatcho Miso is actually local miso, not widely produced throughout Japan.
Hatcho miso is also known for soybean miso produced in a unique process.
Hatcho miso is made of only fermented soybean Koji, salt, and water, on the contrary, other miso is made of rice koji, soybeans, salt, and water.
Nagoya-Japanese Style Tender Slow-Cooked Beef Cheek
- 1.5 lb Trimmed beef cheek
- 1 quart Water about 1 L
- 3 tbsp Red Miso
- 5 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 1 cup Red wine
- 1 TSP Japanese dark soy sauce
- salt&peppr to season the meat
- Soak beef cheek meat in plenty of water in a bowl for 1-2 hours. Change the water occasionally. *To remove blood from the meat.
- Trim up the meat. *Remove excess fat. Don't trim up tendon and strips too much, the meat will come apart while cooking.
- Cut the beef cheek into 3-inch pieces. (Not too small) and season them with salt & pepper.
- Brown each piece lightly. You don't need to cook the meat though.
- Add water, Miso, sugar, red wine, soy sauce, and bring the water to a boil.
- Skim off the foam (scum) from the water.
- Low heat. Stew the meat for 2.5 – 3 hours covered, but leave the lid open a little bit. *Use the "slow cook" mode in the instant pot. *To make the soup thicker
- The taste will be better the next day.
How To Serve Japanese-Inspired Beef Cheek Stew
I highly recommend letting it sit in the fridge overnight before serving it.
The Miso flavor will be rounder and flavorful and infuse the meat with this savory fermented bean paste.
As well as Gyusuji Nikomi/Dote-Japanese beef tendon stew, it absolutely goes well with alcoholic beverages.
Also, you can enjoy serving the beef cheeks with the sauce on rice, which is actually called “Dote-don” in Japan, it is the popular Izakaya hidden menu.
I forgot to garnish with green onions/chives this time, but little green can make this dish more authentic.