Cinnamon, grass-fed beef cheeks, and a slow cooker. A tasty fall combo if you ask me! This recipe was inspired by The Paleo Mom’s, cinnamon-braised beef cheeks. You may remember me posting it a few weeks ago on a list of fall-themed recipes. The main difference between my version and hers is that I used a slow cooker to cook the meat, and cooked the squash separately (also used delicata instead of butternut). Other than that, they’re pretty similar.
This made great leftovers, by the way. I ate the leftover beef cheeks with sunny-side up eggs and avocado for breakfast the next morning. It was fabulous!
This was the first time I ever made beef cheeks, but I have eaten beef cheeks before. Cultured Caveman makes an awesome grass-fed chili from beef cheeks! I love the tender and gelatinous quality of the meat (this is because it has a lot of connective tissue). It’s my understanding that it’s best to braise or slow cook this cut of meat, otherwise it can be quite tough.
- 1 lb grass-fed beef cheeks (I got mine from US Wellness Meats)
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 tsp grass-fed tallow or fat of choice
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup homemade bone broth (or a decent store-bought kind)
- Delicata squash, halved and seeded
- Pat of grass-fed butter, optional
- Greens of choice
- Heat tallow in a pan over medium-high heat. Season the beef cheeks with sea salt and pepper. Once the tallow is melted, add the beef cheeks and sear for three minutes per side.
- Place chopped onions in the slow cooker and place beef cheeks on top. Pour in the broth and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Add the cinnamon sticks and make sure they’re submerged in the broth.
- Set slow cooker to low and let cook for 6 – 8 hours or until meat is cooked through and tender. Alternatively, you can cook it on high for 4 hours.
- Once beef is done or just about done, cook the squash. Set the oven to 350 degrees F and bake skin side up in a shallow pan filled with a little water (about 1/4 inch high). Cook for 35 – 45 minutes or until squash is tender.
- While squash is cooking, remove beef cheeks from the slow cooker and chop into small pieces. Add back to the slow cooker and adjust seasonings if necessary. (NOTE: this is optional, you don’t have to chop up the meat into pieces if you prefer not to).
- Once squash is done, let it cool and then scoop out the flesh, unless you like to eat the delicata skin (I prefer not to eat it). Mix with a pat of grass-fed butter, if using.
- Heat a small amount of ghee in a pan over medium heat. Add your chopped greens of choice (I used kale and chard) and sauté a few minutes, until soft. Season with sea salt and pepper.
- Dish up your squash and greens, and top either or both with the beef cheeks and broth.