Cozy in during your “shelter in place” quarantine with this Boeuf En Daube. Slow simmered in a savory red wine broth until it’s fork tender and delicious.
I’m in a French state of mind. Actually, if it wasn’t for an unreasonable fear of flying I dare say I would be a Francophile. Alas, I will never know. However, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I was once most certainly French. I truly love all things French: the language, the wine, the sites, it all speaks love to me.
Then there is the food, oh-la-la! Buttery, flaky pastries that melt in your mouth. Warm, yeasty breads that are airy and light. If wine is the nectar of Gods then the French baguette is what makes the angels sing! Today, I am sharing one of my favorite French dishes. Boeuf en daube is filled with savory herbs and deep rich aromas, a rustic peasant food that comes from the South of France.
French cooking often thought to be too complicated or too heavy, but for me, the pinnacle of French cooking is fresh. Every French food journey begins at the market. A good French market has virtually everything one needs to prepare the meal of your choice: meats, fish, cheese, produce, and wonderful local specialties. The ingredients for this savory rich boeuf en daube are staples in my kitchen.
Boeuf en Daube:
Boeuf en daube broken down is simply beef stew. It earns its fancy name by being marinated in red wine and spices then slowed cooked in a daubière, or braising pan. Does that along warrant a fancy title? You bet! Those long hours of sitting in the marinade and absorbing those flavors gives the beef a deep robust flavor. The aroma alone will have your mouth watering!
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- 2 pounds chuck roast, cut into 2-inch cubes
- 1 cup red wine
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme, destemmed and roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 head garlic, crushed
- 2 cups carrots, thinly sliced
- All-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups fresh ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 cups mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup beef stock
Place the beef in a large mixing bowl and add the wine, brandy, oil, salt and pepper to taste, thyme, bay leaf, onion, garlic and carrots. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Remove the meat reserving the marinade. Dredge the beef with flour; shake off any excess flour.
Arrange a layer of the beef in the pan, add a layer of the marinated vegetables, a third of the tomatoes and a third of the mushrooms. Continue layering until all the ingredients are used. Season with salt and pepper. Add the stock and enough of the marinade to cover.
Cover the pan and bring the liquid to a boil on top of the stove. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 300°F and continue to cook for 3 – 4 hours. Reduce heat as necessary so that the stew barely simmers. Cook until meat is for tender. Skim the fat from the surface and serve over egg noodles or polenta.