Are beef cheeks something you can get at a well-stocked supermarket? I've never seen them, and was wondering if they might be called something else.
Unfortunately they can be tough to find. I usually call ahead and order them.
You really need a genuine butcher who can trim a whole carrcass.the guys at the supermarket just run a saw and slap meat into foam trays.
It can be difficult! You have to find a butcher who has independent sources of meat. The common way of killing the beef involves head trauma in such a manner that the bone splinters into the cheeks so it cannot be used. If you know a restaurant who serves beef cheeks, ask them who their supplier is.
If you're thinking of making the Barbacoa Beef Cheek Tacos -- pictured above and in our Cinco de Mayo post -- and can't find the real deal (we had a hard time tracking them down ourselves), we've found that short ribs are an excellent substitute.
And, in some places, the UK for example, the abattoir has to dispose of the head, so almost impossible to find retail.