Beef Daube 4.000

Goran Kosanovic for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Sep 10, 2018

There are many variations on this French classic stew, in which beef is slow-cooked in wine with onions, carrots and herbes de Provence: often the beef is marinated in either red or white wine, then either cooked directly in the marinade or removed, patted dry and browned before adding the marinade to the pot for the long cooking. Sometimes the meat is browned directly, with or without lardons, then cooked in the wine with or without the addition of tomatoes. Each variation and cooking method depends on the region of France and the family; each variation producing a meltingly tender beef infused with seasoned wine.

This is the Schler family recipe, which requires no marinating. Buy the ingredients at the market in the morning and have the daube the same day for lunch or dinner. And, of course, a dish like this is even better the second day.

Use beef cuts that benefit from long, slow cooking: boneless chuck or shoulder, or cheek. The meat should be marbled or veined with a bit of fat, which will help keep it moist and tender. This dish can be made just as easily for 6 people by increasing the quantity of beef to 42 ounces (count about 7 ounces of beef per person).

Serve over pasta or rice.

To read the accompanying story, see: I thought French cuisine was the height of precision. My mother-in-law taught me an easier way.


Servings:
4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 3/4 pounds boneless beef chuck (excess fat trimmed), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium yellow onions, each cut into 8 wedges
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 heaping tablespoon flour
  • Scant 1/2 cup (5 ounces) tomato paste or scant 1 cup (7 ounces) tomato puree
  • Small bouquet of herbes de Provence or bouquet garni dried or fresh (thyme, rosemary, bay leaf tied with kitchen twine)
  • 2 long, wide strips fresh or dried orange peel (without the white pith)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds carrots, scrubbed well and trimmed and peeled, then cut into 1-inch chunks
  • One 750-milliliter bottle dry, fruity red wine, such as a zinfandel

Directions

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the meat and sear it for 2 to 3 minutes, tossing the cubes continuously, until browned on all sides. Season with a large pinch salt and a couple of grinds of pepper.

Add the onions, garlic (to taste) and the flour; toss and stir until the meat is evenly coated. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil; cook for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and the meat has a browned crust.

Add the tomato paste, the herbs and the orange peel, the carrots and another large pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Pour in the wine. Stir to blend, dissolving the tomato paste. The meat should be just submerged in the liquid. Once the wine begins to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 3 hours, adjusting the heat as needed so the liquid remains barely bubbling.

Uncover, taste and add more salt and pepper, as needed; continue to cook (uncovered) for 30 minutes to 1 hour, until both the beef and the carrots are fork-tender. Discard the herbs and orange peel.

Serve hot, or cool completely before storing.

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Recipe Source

From cookbook author and food writer Jamie Schler.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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