Red Chile Beef Cheek with Chickpeas

When I need a delicious and traditional recipe, I always ask my mom and Abuela. They have never given me a bad recipe. Two days ago, while I was hanging out with my mom and Abuela, I was telling them how I had ordered cheek meat from Rumba Meats on Amazon and I needed a good recipe for to prepare. Before even thinking about the recipe, Abuela stopped me in my tracks and said, “Como que la ordenaste??” “What do you mean you ordered it?” I had to explain how times are changing and we can do online shopping even for our groceries. She shook her head in disbelief and two seconds later, she was asking me to order her some. We really do enjoy Rumba Meats because of the quality and freshness of the product.

Abuela began to share her Beef Cheek in Chile Colorado recipe and I immediately began to salivate. Abuela and my mom kept going back and forth- as they usually do, giving their mutual input about the recipe. I just sat and listen to their platica, their conversation in a quick tempo style argument. Well, they weren’t really arguing; it is just how they think through a recipe. You know us Latinos–for no reason, we get loud. LOL

My mom said, “add chickpeas!” Both Abuela and I looked at each other perplexed. But then Abuela said, “buen idea” –it was a good idea. I’m not a big fan of chickpeas or any vegetable for that matter. I refused to add it to the recipe but they convinced me that the vegetable would add an appropriate balance; so I folded to their advice as usual.

After preparing the recipe, I must admit that using the chickpeas, added to the authenticity of this traditional Mexican dish. I’m so glad I listened to them. It would have been silly to leave out something that they both agreed would be a good idea. Abuela and Mom know best.


Red Chile Beef Cheek with Chickpeas

Servings: 4-5
Author: Silvia Salas-Sanchez - Abuela's Kitchen


  • Rumba® Beef Cheekmeat
  • 1 package Rumba Meats cheek meat (approximately 3 pounds)
  • 3 Ancho Chiles
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 Serrano Chile
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chickpeas
  • Sea salt and pepper


  1. Combine cheek meat, salt, garlic and salt in a large pot with enough water to cover the meat.
  2. Cook for about 2-3 hours or until tender.
  3. Remove from pot and cut into chunks.
  4. Roast the chiles and tomatoes. Blend with sugar, salt, pepper and beef broth.
  5. Strain sauce.
  6. Fry sauce in some cooking oil for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add meat and garbanzos to the sauce pan.
  8. Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes on medium heat.
  9. Add some water if the meat dries up a bit.
  10. Add more salt if needed.


Can be served with rice and flour tortillas.