Vanilla Braised Beef Cheeks is a type of beef stew cooked simply with wine and vanilla bean together with herbs and spices like garlic, onion, thyme and bay leaves.
Vanilla in a savoury dish, that for me at least was unheard of, my reaction when I saw this once on a TV show I was, arhmmmmm. I was sceptical as I never had tried it and that combination does not seem to be logical to me, but after I tried to recreate it at home, it was a revelation.
Now let’s use that sauce on a beef cheeks, trust me it’s marvellous, anyways regardless of what sauce it is, it just simply works. Beef cheeks are amazing, once cooked right and given enough time this tough cut with lots of collagen, transforms into the most delicious, gelatinous, silky, tender meat that has a lot of flavour and depth. I had used beef cheeks as a primary ingredient multiple times and those dishes never failed me. If I had to rate beef cuts then this together with oxtails, tendons, skirt and ribeye are the best. Depending on where you live this cut might be hard to find in your supermarket, but you can ask your butcher to prepare this cut for you.
Romeo and Juliet getting married must be impossible but it makes a really good story, like this dish, it may seem to be odd, but it ended up really well. The flavours are just stunning, sweet, savoury, a bit tangy, melt in your mouth sticky, I am already drooling as I imagine and write my experience. Serve it with mashed potatoes, bread, rice or just on its own, its perfect in its own way.