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April 28, 2020

Daube of beef

Daube of Beef

By Steven Spanbauer, adapted from a recipe in Bistro Cooking by Patricia Wells
4 servings / 30-minute preparation & 2 hour cooking time

You can find Daube on the menu all across France with regional variations in flavors and ingredients. Boeuf Bourgignon is perhaps the most famous but in the south of France, you often find citrus, strongly flavored herbs, and briny olives adding exotic aromas and flavors to what is at heart a truly homey and comforting dish. Oranges and cloves really make this dish stand apart. For marinating and serving with this daube I would recommend a good Côtes-du-Rhône and in particular the Domaine d’Andezon Côtes-du-Rhône Syrah. The flavors of Syrah really pair beautifully with this preparation. If you do not want to be surprised by a burst of pepper or clove, Patricia recommends wrapping these spices in a cheesecloth satchel, personally I enjoy the surprise.       

  • 2 pounds beef suitable for stewing such as round or chuck, cubbed in large pieces
  • 2 large carrots, thickly sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup stemmed parsley leaves
  • 1 stalk of celery, thickly sliced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac or Brandy
  • 1/2 bottle of Côtes-du-Rhône or Syrah/Grenache-based wine
  • Olive oil
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thickly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Zest and juice from half an orange
  1. On the day before cooking, prepare the marinade in a large nonreactive bowl. Combine the meat, carrots, onion, garlic, parsley, celery, bay leaves, thyme, cognac, wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil, peppercorns, and cloves. Mix well, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 300º F.
  3. Strain the marinade, reserving the liquid, and separate the beef from the vegetables. Over medium-high heat reduce the marinade by about 1/3 skimming or straining the foam that forms on the top. Pour the marinated into a dutch oven.
  4. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, add about 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter. After the butter has foamed, start browning the beef making certain not to crowd the pan – probably about three separate batches adding them to the dutch oven with a slotted spoon or thongs to reserve the fat in the skillet.
  5. After the meat has browned, saute the vegetables in the same skillet until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then add them to the dutch oven.
  6. The skillet isn’t done yet so return it to the heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a tablespoon of butter and saute the mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Add them to the dutch oven and deglaze the pan with a couple of tablespoons of water, and add to the dutch oven.
  7. Bring the daube to a simmer and add the tomato paste, orange zest, and orange juice. Stir well and place in the oven. Bake for 2 hours stirring the daube every 30 minutes or so. Serve with pasta, couscous, or boiled potatoes. The tomato and zucchini gratin makes a great side dish for this daube. Naturally, it tastes better reheated a day or two after it has been cooked.

There is something magical about how the aromatics of this dish complement Syrah so some recommendations for pairing would include: Domaine d’Andezon Côtes-du-Rhône, Château Pesquié Quintessence. Another direction would be for a lighter, aromatic Grenache-based wine, especially from Lirac: Domaine de Marcoux Lorentine Lirac, Domaine Roger Sabon Lirac, and Plateau des Chênes Lirac.