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Aug 5, 2007 12:51 PM

Help me rescue beef daube

Blasting heat aside, I made a beef daube this AM with meat from my butcher friend, in an effort to prepare and freeze some meals before the birth of my first baby.

I looked at several recipes but went with Cooks Illustrated (which differed in key ways from the others...subject of another post.)

The meat is cooked well, the sauce is thickened nicely, in general it came out great has a too strong taste of orange! CI called for 4 3 inch strips of citrus cut into thin strips, which I believe I followed. Each bite now tastes strongly of orange.

Can this be improved, or do I have to just toss this up as a valuable lesson for the first time I made this dish??

Thanks in advance!


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  1. I would make a vegetable stew using the best quality beef stock you can find and most of the same ingredients as the original daube (minus the orange of course!), then add the meat from the daube (carefully cleaning off any orange shreds) and heat it gently together for a while. It won't be quite the same dish as the original, but at least you won't be wasting the meat.

    If it's not thick enough you can use buerre manie (a paste made of half flour and half butter, blended together at room temperature). Whisk in a littlle at a time to desired thickness (if the liquid's at a simmer it will thicken almost immediately), being sure to cook it enough to get rid of the raw flour taste before serving.

    2 Replies
    1. re: BobB

      Thanks BobB, I might try that with some of the stew. I wonder how the freezing will affect the orange flavor? Perhaps it will help mellow, and then I could simply add more broth, mushrooms and olives when I defrost to balance the flavors?

      I honestly think the CI recipe called for too much orange. Oh well. It's not terrible, and I'm crossing my fingers that it will mellow....but I think the alt stew is a good idea as well...

      1. re: sljones

        My experience with freezing beef after braising it is that it gets kind of mushy and stringy. I don't know what it will do to the orange flavor, but hey - it never hurts to experiment!

    2. Haven't seen the recipe, so sorry if these suggestions aren't germane. Start by straining the sauce to remove the orange peel. Then add other ingredients to cover the orange flavour. For example, sauté a considerable quantity of halved or quartered button mushrooms, stir into the stew and simmer for a while. Ditto black olives (oil-cured Nyons are best). Add a little tomato paste or some cooked-down plum tomatoes. And be sure to serve with or preferably over a bland starch (potatoes, rice, noodles). You can also deal with some of the sauce by using it to moisten cooked tubular pasta, piling the pasta into a baking dish, topping with Parmesan and baking until crusty: voilà la macaronade.

      1 Reply
      1. re: carswell

        Many thanks! The recipe had me cut the orange into thin strips, so I don't think I can remove them (they cooked down and look like onions now.) But I love the idea of adding the extra mushrooms, olives and tomatoes. I think I may opt to add those after defrosting the stew, with the idea that it will add a nice fresh note.

        I think we'll end up with something we enjoy, if not something traditional!

      2. I used a variation of C.K's recipe, and cut back on the orange right at the start- I grated about a quarter teaspoon into the daube because I wasn't sure I would enjoy a pronounced flavour. After a few daubes, you find yourself adjusting to heighten some flavours and diminish others, according to your preference. I'd go with BobB's idea. It's almost ratatouille-like.