We reached one very clear conclusion from our previous experiments with check meat – A kosher cut presents a real problem.
Either this cut absorbs salt at a spectacular rate or it receives a near lethal dose of salt during the process which renders it virtually unusable.
The end result is that whoever is trying to make me eat Kosher meat is actually forcing me to soak the meat in milk in order to remove the salt (with only partial success) – rather ironic.
So when the butcher (in the non-kosher butcher shop) said “yes, we have cheek meat”, I seized the opportunity (and 2 cheeks) and put them in the freezer.
Sadly the deli recently closed its doors on 6 great years of Peter Hummel’s, so in memory of the place I liked, and because I wanted a terrine, I decided to defrost the cheeks.
After defrosting and drying, I seasoned the cheeks with a little salt and black pepper and placed each one in a separate sous vide bag to cook for 12 hours at 80⁰C. I made sure that the meat was soft enough but still in one piece, chilled the bags in ice water and opened one of them.
I placed the cheek in a pan and placed in on the top rack of the smoker.
I kept the liquid from the bag and the 2nd cheek for the Terrine (wait for th post).
I placed apple & lemon tree chunks on the coals, and removed the cheek after 2.5 hours of smoking – I trusted my judgment and did not measure the temperature.
The cheek fat turned golden and crispy, and the meat was soft and tasty.
This time the result was really good!
Best served hot, as the texture when cold, is less appetizing.
Finally, after quite a number of cheeks, we managed to get it just right!
This post is also available in: Hebrew