Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Beef: Prather Ranch: Beef Cheeks

I've mentioned Prather Ranch a few times recently. Once in my last Market Recap, and then again in my attempt to reproduce Mario Batali's Beef Cheek Ravioli.

They did eventually get some beef cheeks, and boy did we braised them. Braising the cheeks turns the connective tissue inside them into gelatin - an intensely-flavored beef quasi-liquid. Depending on your perspective you will find this either gross or very tempting. Personally I feel an obligation to gamely embrace less-loved hunks of the animals that are slaughtered in anticipation of my commerce. A single $10.00 pack fed the two of us for two evenings.

The sheer fall-apart tenderness of this cut of meat is something to behold. I did detect the slightest mineral tang of something like organ meat. If you like this sort of thing, know going in that it is very slight. If you are squeamish about this kind of thing, ladle some more braising liquid over it and off you go.

I'd be remiss if I didn't point out that the Prather Ranch guy won't be at the market this coming Saturday.

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