Slow Cooked Port & Vanilla Beef Cheeks

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours 50 mins
  • Yield: 4 1x



  • 4 beef cheeks (about 1.2 kg), cut in half, sinew removed (ask your butcher to do this)
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil for frying
  • 2/3 cup of port (Sherry can also be used)
  • 1 tablespoon butter or ghee
  • 1 large white onion, sliced
  • 4 large garlic cloves, roughly diced
  • 45 cardamon pods (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Balsamic vinegar (red wine vinegar can also be used)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove spice, cinnamon could also be used)
  • 12 vanilla beans (depending on size), split
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 450 ml / about 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 150C.
  2. Season the beef cheeks with salt and pepper. Heat a frying pan with coconut oil over high heat, brown the cheeks on each side for about a minute and place in a heavy-based casserole dish.
  3. Deglaze the frying pan with port, then add the onion, garlic, butter, cardamon seeds, vinegar, bay leaves, cloves, vanilla beans, pepper, tomato paste, and beef stock. Mix through and bring to simmer, then carefully pour over the beef cheeks in the casserole dish.
  4. Assemble the beef cheeks so they don’t overlap and the garlic and onion are distributed evenly. Cover with foil and place the casserole in the oven. Cook covered for around 3 hours 15 minutes, turning beef cheeks frequently, every 20-25 minutes.
  5. Then remove the foil, add the carrots and cook uncovered for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Make sure to keep turning the beef cheeks as they will start to brown and dry up on the top. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed but there should be loads given the beef stock is reduced.
  6. Serve with a side of greens sautéed in olive oil and garlic and some fresh green herbs on top.