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Red Chile Beef Cheek with Chickpeas

Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat

Silvia Salas-Sanchez Head-shot

Original Blog & Recipe by
Silvia Salas-Sanchez

Silvia Salas-Sanchez is the founder/creator and co-host of Abuela’s Kitchen YouTube Channel, where she shares the kitchen with her 84 year-old Abuela from Purepero, Michoachan. Silvia continues to celebrate culture—all in the kitchen—by sharing traditional Mexican cuisine. She inspires creativity and innovation with her spicy personality and colorful Latina twist on everything she does—from food, fashion, comedy, travel and more!

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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.


  • Rumba Meats® Beef Cheek Meat (1 package)
  • 3 ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
  • 6-8 garlic cloves
  • ½ white onion
  • 1 Serrano Chile
  • 2 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 1 ½ cups of chickpeas
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1½ cups cooked, drained chickpeas

Recipe Notes

Can be served with rice and flour tortillas.


  1. Combine beef cheekmeat, onion, garlic and salt to taste in a large stockpot. Add water to cover the meat.
  2. Cook for 2 to 3 hours, or until tender and internal temperature of cheekmeat reaches 160ºF
  3. Remove cheekmeat from stockpot and cut into chunks. Set aside. Strain beef stock and set aside.
  4. Roast the chiles and tomatoes in a hot skillet. Combine in a blender with sugar and salt and black pepper to taste. Add 1 cup reserved beef stock and blend until smooth. Strain sauce.
  5. Heat oil in a skillet, add sauce and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add cheekmeat and chickpeas and stir to blend. Cover and simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add reserved stock, as needed, if red chile beef mixture seems dry.
  7. Serve with rice and flour tortillas, if desired.