Braised Beef Cheeks with Vanilla

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Beef cheeks have become wildly popular lately we now know why. They are an cheap, economical cut of meat that’s still huge on flavour and deliciously succulent when slow braised like they are in this recipe. They can be served in many ways like a stew or a ragu but i’m sure you’ve never tried them with vanilla. Yep, that’s right, vanilla!

The sweet aromatic flavour of the vanilla pod works so well with a rich slow-cooked dish like this compliments the earthiness of the beef. With a hint of everyone’s favourite Cardamom to add a smoky, spicy hum and served with a side of fluffy potato mash this is comfort food at its best.

Watch below to see Emma whip up this delicious, sumptuous, luxurious dish and try for yourself at home with our easy-to-follow recipe. This is definitely one to wow your friends!

Spices used in this recipe


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).

  2. Sift flour onto a plate. Pat dry the beef cheeks and toss in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium-high saucepan and fry on each side until the colours are brown.

  3. Transfer cheeks into a cast-iron casserole dish. Sauté the celery, carrot,shallots and garlic in the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, in the same saucepan that the beef cheeks were fried in. Deglaze with the port and pour the mixture into the casserole with the beef cheeks.

  4. Add in the remaining ingredients (including vanilla bean and seeds). Add extra water to cover, if required. Place a cartouche (a piece of baking paper, cut to the size of the casserole dish) on the surface of the beef cheeks.

  5. Cover with the lid and cook for 3–4 hours. Alternatively, put in a pressure cooker (without cartouche) and cook at pressure for 1½ hours.

    Serve with a side of mashed turnips and swedes and buttered green beans.

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