Beef daube (pronounced “dohb”) is the French version of a red wine-based beef or lamb stew. The dish has countless flavor variations, the most classic being Provencal Daube.
The classic daube was originally seasoned with bitter Seville oranges, but I like to use simple orange zest to brighten the flavor. I add big chunks of carrots and sweet onion so they hold their shape during the long cooking process. During the last hour of cooking time, I add fresh haricots verts (French green beans) and peeled potatoes. You can use regular fresh green beans with both ends trimmed.
This stew is delicious on the day it’s made and even better the next day. For the beef, buy a whole boneless chuck roast and trim some of the fat and then cut into 2-inch, bite-sized pieces. Or have your butcher do the same to save you time and effort. I don’t like to buy already cut beef stew meat, as the pieces are rather small and can fall apart during the long cook time.
It is best to use a large, heavy Dutch oven for this recipe, as it keeps the heat even without burning the ingredients. A dry red wine such as a Syrah lends a rich and earthy flavor. Add a sweeter note by using a fruity red blend. The better the wine, the better the stew will taste. Add more beef broth if the liquid becomes too dry.
Make sure to taste the cooking liquid during the last 30 minutes to adjust the seasonings, adding more salt or pepper to taste.
Beef Daub Provencal
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
3 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 pound fresh carrots, peeled, each carrot cut into thirds
1 large sweet onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons crushed fresh garlic cloves
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups red wine (I like Petit Syrah)
2 cups low-sodium beef broth, and more as needed
1 cup tomato sauce
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cloves
2 bay leaves
½ pound haricots verts (French string beans), tips trimmed
2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut each into 4 pieces
1 pound cooked wide egg noodles
¼ cup butter
In a medium shallow bowl, add the flour, seasoned salt and ground pepper. Toss the meat pieces in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour and remove to a plate. Set by the stovetop.
In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the beef pieces to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove the beef to a plate and set aside. Do not remove the oil or brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Continuing on medium heat, stir in the carrots, onion, crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Saute just until the onion is translucent, about 1 minute.
Stir the wine into the pan and bring to a simmer, scraping the pan to loosen the browned bits, about 3 minutes. Add back the browned beef, beef broth, tomato sauce, thyme, brown sugar, orange zest, ground cloves and bay leaves and bring to a slow simmer.
Partially cover and cook for about 1 ½ to 2 hours or until the beef is tender and the liquid is thick. Gently stir every 30 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot to bring up the cooked bits. During the last hour of cooking, stir in the haricots verts and cut potatoes. If the liquid is getting too dry, add more beef broth. Remove the bay leaves.
Cook egg noodles according to package directions until they are al dente. Drain and add back to cooking pot. Toss with butter, salt and pepper. Cover until ready to use.
Top a serving of buttered egg noodles with the stew. Serve with crusty bread or biscuits.
Serves about 8.
Source: Lorraine Fina Stevenski
Lorraine Fina Stevenski is a self-taught baker and award-winning recipe contest addict. This column features recipes that have been entered in contests across America and updated for readers who love to bake and cook. Check out what she’s cooking and creating right now on her Facebook page, LORRAINE FINA STEVENSKI. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.