Daube | French Beef Stew

This French stew, called a daube, is simply chunks of beef, carrots, onion, mushrooms, and olives in a rich red wine sauce. Serve it by itself, over pasta, or with a thick slice of hearty peasant bread. Perfect blizzard food.

Bowl of french beef stew with sliced carrots over pasta sitting on a wooden tray

Like many hearty stews, this daube is best served the day after you make it. In fact, some cooks gently heat and cool it over several days for maximum flavor. If you can’t wait, though, no problem. You’ll find it utterly irresistible right out of the pot. Originally published May 5, 1999.David Leite

What Wine to Serve with a French Daube?

“Daube” sounds incomparably more sophisticated than “beef stew,” doesn’t it? Actually, come to think of it,  just about everything sounds more esteemed in French, including wine, n’est-ce pas? The best wine to use in this beef stew—or rather, daube—is something from the same region as the ingredients, namely the South of France. A lovely Côtes du Rhône would do quite nicely—not to mention inexpensively.

Provençal Beef Stew | Daube Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 4 H, 30 M
  • Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 cup sliced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herb: flat-leaf parsley, thyme, crumbled bay leaf, and rosemary or savory
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups dry red or white wine
  • Salt
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 1 pound beef shank
  • 1 pound beef short ribs
  • 1 pound grainy beef chuck, cut into small chunks
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 35 ounces canned tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Bouquet garni of bay leaf, flat-leaf parsley sprigs, and thyme leaves, tied together
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • Parchment paper, cut to fit the inside diameter of the pot
  • 1/4 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 dozen brine-cured black olives, rinsed and pitted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Cooked noodles (optional), for serving

Directions

  • 1. In a skillet over low heat, warm the oil. Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the herbs and garlic and continue cooking until the flavors and aromas are released, just a minute or two. Add the wine, salt, and peppercorns, bring the liquid to a boil, and then simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is reduced somewhat. Remove the skillet from the heat and let cool completely.
  • 2. Place the various cuts of beef in a bowl and pour the cooled wine mixture over the beef. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning the meat once or twice.
  • 3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the meat and the marinade in a heavy casserole or Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid. Scatter the sliced onions and then add the pancetta, tomatoes, bouquet garni, and orange zest. Wet the parchment circle and place it on top, pressing down to remove any air bubbles. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Lower the temperature to 250°F (120°C) and cook an additional 3 to 4 hours, until the meat falls apart easily when prodded with a fork.
  • 4. Set the pot on top of the stove over very low heat. Remove the parchment and stir in the mushrooms and olives. Cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove the bouquet garni and skim the fat from the top of the cooking liquid. Adjust the seasoning. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve over cooked noodles, if desired.
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Comments

  1. The recipe sounds delicious and I’m making a larger amount of this dish. I have the meat marinating in the frig since yesterday (Thursday), but now I’m thinking I’d like to serve this at a gathering on Sunday and wonder:

    1. Will the food keep that long?

    2. If so, am I better to finish cooking the recipe today, or should I keep the meat marinating and finish the cooking on Sunday?

  2. What recommendations would you make for modifications to make this stew work at 7-8000 feet of altitude? I have had a hard time getting stews to be tender and meltingly flavorful at this altitude, even with extra liquid. Thank you!

    1. Sandgirl, cooking meats at high altitudes can be difficult. Try this: use more liquid, as you do, but cook the meat an additional 25% to 30% more than required. So this would cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes at the higher temperature, and 3 hours and 45 minutes to 5 hours at the lower temperature. That should help.

          1. We made it with extra liquid (about 25% extra) using a pressure cooker: an hour of pressure cooking, then outside in the cold overnight, then another hour of pressure cooking before adding the olives and mushrooms. It was superb and very successful! Thank you very much for your help. This is now the go-to recipe for stew at our altitude!

            1. Sandgirl, I am so delighted that you finally found a way to make stews at high altitudes. And I am over the moon that this recipe did it for you. Please come back again, as we have many other recipes that you’ll be able to convert to mountain cooking.

  3. A question: what cut of short ribs would you recommend. I’m so excited that no meat browning is necessary! That’s what puts me off some stews because it makes such a mess of my stovetop. Can’t wait to make this.

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