This recipe appeared in Food & Wine many years ago and is a winner. In the autumn, whenever I ask family and friends what they’d like for a weekend dinner, all voices rise in unison: “That French stew!” Slightly offended because no one asked for any of my own dishes, I make them grovel a bit. And then I make it. You’ll be tempted to serve the daube after the second cooking, but don’t. It really does benefit from the extra 24 hours of mellowing.–David Leite
LC Proper Provencale Daube Note
Provencale Daube is a classic preparation rooted in geography. It’s a simple stew with complex taste made from everyday ingredients that transcend humble. A proper Provencale daube is made ahead so as to intensify the flavors and ensure the ingredients can meld. Rather serendipitous, then, seeing as this preparation lends itself to an evening of easy entertaining, weekend or weekday.
Classic Provençale Daube
- Quick Glance
- 1 H, 30 M
- 4 H, 30 M
- Serves 6 to 8
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut in 4-ounce cubes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 16 large cloves garlic (4 minced, 12 halved)
- 3 large onions (2 minced, 1 stuck with 4 whole cloves)
- 2 large carrots, diced
- 3 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped (or 1 14-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes)
- 1 bottle (750 ml) red wine, such as Côtes du Rhône
- 1/4 cup sherry wine vinegar
- Bouquet garni, made with 5 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, 3 thyme sprigs, 2 bay leaves and 2 leek greens tied in cheesecloth
- 1. In a large flameproof casserole or Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately high heat until hot. Add the beef in batches, without crowding, and cook until well browned on all sides. Regulate the heat to avoid scorching the meat. As each batch is browned, transfer the meat to a large plate and season generously with salt and pepper.
- 2. In the remaining fat in the casserole, cook the minced garlic, minced onions, and carrots over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their liquid and cook for 3 minutes longer. Add the wine and vinegar and bring to a boil over high heat; boil for 3 minutes. Add the beef and any accumulated juices, the halved garlic cloves, the onion stuck with cloves, and the bouquet garni. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- 3. Let the meat and vegetables return to room temperature. Cover and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer very gently until the meat is fairly tender, about 2 hours. Let cool completely, then cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- 4. Scrape off any fat that has solidified on the surface of the daube. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. The daube is ready to serve at this point, but for even better flavor, repeat the cooling, overnight chilling, and cooking one more time.
- 5. Discard the bouquet garni. Remove the meat from the casserole and boil the liquid until thickened, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Return the meat to the casserole and serve. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Recipe Testers Reviews
This is the ultimate classic daube. Rich, meltingly tender, spiked with flavor. Utter perfection. I cannot imagine how one could improve it! The red wine, tomatoes, wagonload of garlic (16 cloves altogether), bouquet garni, and sherry vinegar create a wonderful and flavorful sauce. You braise it, allow it to come to room temperature, refrigerate it for 24 hours, bring it to room temperature, braise it, and repeat. The second time really made a big difference. It makes the recipe. The meat literally fell apart on my fork. If you are going to make this recipe, I would highly recommend waiting that extra time for something pretty amazing. Serve with mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes to catch the sauce in every crack and crevice. You will not want to allow one single drop to go to waste.