Carrillada de Ternera: Exploring the Savory Delight of A Classic Beef Recipe

Carrillada de Ternera: Exploring the Savory Delight of A Classic Beef Recipe

Carrillada de Ternera, a mouthwatering Spanish delicacy, is a slow-cooked beef dish that boasts rich flavors and tender meat. In this article, we’ll delve into the history of this traditional recipe, explore popular variations, and share some tips and tricks to help you create a delightful Beef Cheek at home. Whether you’re searching for easy beef recipes for dinner or simply craving a hearty beef dish, Carrillada de Ternera is sure to satisfy your palate.

History and Origins: Tracing the Roots of Beef Cheek

Carrillada de Ternera originated in Spain, where it has been enjoyed for generations. The dish showcases beef cheeks, a cut known for its exceptional tenderness and marbled texture. Historically, beef cheeks were an economical option as they were often overlooked by more affluent individuals. However, their abundant connective tissue made them perfect for slow cooking, resulting in meltingly tender meat. Over time, Beef Cheek gained popularity, becoming a beloved dish in Spanish cuisine.

Variations: Exploring Regional Twists on Carrillada de Ternera

While the traditional Carrillada de Ternera recipe remains cherished, regional variations add their own unique twists to the dish. In some regions, the recipe includes ingredients such as tomatoes, peppers, or even a touch of saffron for added depth of flavor. Additionally, the choice of accompanying side dishes can vary, with options like creamy mashed potatoes, sautéed vegetables, or a bed of fluffy rice. These variations allow for personalization and creativity, ensuring that Beef Cheek can be enjoyed in diverse ways.

Tips and Tricks: Mastering the Art of Cooking Beef Cheek

  1. Selecting the beef cheeks: Look for beef cheeks with a good balance of meat and fat, as this will contribute to the dish’s flavor and tenderness.
  2. Browning for depth: Take the time to properly brown the beef cheeks before braising them, as this step adds depth and richness to the final dish.
  3. Slow and low cooking: The key to tender Beef Cheek lies in the slow cooking process. Use low heat and allow ample time for the meat to become tender and infused with flavors.
  4. Resting for enhanced flavors: After cooking, let the dish rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a more harmonious taste.
  5. Make-ahead convenience: Carrillada de Ternera tastes even better when prepared in advance. Consider making it a day ahead to allow the flavors to develop further.

Carrillada de Ternera, with its rich history and tantalizing flavors, is a fantastic addition to your repertoire of easy beef recipes for dinner. Explore its variations, apply tips and tricks, and savor the exquisite taste of this traditional Spanish dish.

Carrillada de Ternera

Carrillada de Ternera: Exploring the Savory Delight of A Classic Beef Recipe

Discover the rich history and delectable flavors of Carrillada de Ternera, a classic beef recipe. Explore regional variations, learn valuable tips and tricks, and create a memorable culinary experience with these easy beef recipes for dinner. Elevate your cooking skills and savor the tender and succulent delights of Carrillada de Ternera.
Prep Time 20 minutes
4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 4


  • 2 lbs Beef cheeks 1Kg
  • 2 Onions
  • 4 Cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 Carrots chopped
  • 2 Celery stalks chopped
  • 1 cup Red wine 250 ml
  • 2 cups Beef broth 500 ml
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for cooking


  • Prepare the beef cheeks by trimming off any excess fat and silverskin. Pat them dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  • Sear the beef cheeks in the hot oil until browned on all sides. This will help to develop rich flavors in the dish. Remove the beef cheeks from the pot and set them aside.
  • In the same pot, add the chopped onions, minced garlic, carrots, and celery. Sauté the vegetables until they are softened and lightly caramelized.
  • Deglaze the pot by pouring in the red wine. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  • Return the beef cheeks to the pot and add the beef broth, bay leaves, and smoked paprika. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let the beef cheeks braise slowly for about 2 to 3 hours, or until they are tender and easily pull apart with a fork.
  • Once the beef cheeks are tender, remove them from the pot and set them aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the cooking liquid reduce until it thickens slightly.
  • While the liquid is reducing, shred the beef cheeks into bite-sized pieces using two forks.
  • Return the shredded beef cheeks to the pot and stir them into the reduced cooking liquid. Cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  • Serve the Carrillada de Ternera hot, accompanied by your choice of side dishes such as mashed potatoes, rice, or crusty bread. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.


To save time you can cook the beef cheek in an instant pot in only 30-35 minutes
Keyword Meat

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