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
Cardamom Green Pods Whole
Green Cardamom Pods have a strong, unique taste, with an intensely aromatic fragrance and a minty coolness. The oval-shaped pods are green, as suggested by their name, and are used in a variety of savoury and sweet dishes. Next to black pepper, cardamom is the most common spice in India. It is also one of the world’s most ancient spices, often glorified as the Queen of Spices. It is an essential ingredient of Garam Masala.$3.45
Vanilla Bean Whole
The vanilla bean, or pod, is the long slender fruit of the vanilla orchid. Each pod contains thousands of seeds. It is one of the most expensive spices due to its complex and long curing process, particularly due to the orchid only flowering once per year. Vanilla beans are used in most of the world’s cuisines. They are the purest and most potent form of vanilla and can be reused to steep in the liquid until losing their flavour, or the seeds inside can be scraped out and the pod discarded. It has a floral aroma and a smooth caramel flavor. The best beans are air-dried to a moisture content of 25-30%.
Other products: vanilla sugar.$7.50
Pepper White Whole
White Pepper is black pepper that has been soaked to remove the outer husk. It is hotter and less fragrant than black pepper. It is one of the most versatile spices, particularly used in European cooking so as to not blemish creamy white sauces with black specs of pepper.
The Spice People carry these pepper products: pepper black whole, pepper black ground, pepper black cracked, pepper white whole, pepper white ground, pepper green whole, pepper lemon, pepper mill mix.
Preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F).
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.
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.
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.
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.