A French Daube
When I was in Paris over Christmas I had the most fabulous meal on Ile St. Louis. The main course was a beef daube. It is a regional dish, a stew adding some bittersweet chocolate. Does anyone have a nice recipe that they have tried?
Try this recipe, http://thefrenchcuisine.com/meat/daub...
There are hundreds of recipes concerning the Daube recipe which consists in a beef stew but only one for the Daube Provencale ( Provencale adj. means which comes from Provence ).
I lived for 20 years in Provence and believe me that is The Real Recipe. The gravy doesn't need to be thicken with chocolate or wheat flour. Originally this was the poor's man recipe ( as well as Bouillabaisse which is originated in Provence as well ). This was prepared with the most inexpensive part of beef and needed therefore several hours of cooking.
You can't fail this recipe if :
- Let marinate for at least 12 hours.
- Vinegar is compulsory.
- Don't add salt to the marinade.
- add the whole skin of half of an orange ( NOT GRATED ).
- Simmer for at least 4 hours.
Don't hesitate to contact me about French cuisine.
So many good ideas here! Thank you. I found that recipe with oranges, as well, and wondered if it would be to orangey. I went through all my receipts and I think the name of the restaurant was Le Fin Gourmet. It was a quiet inside location and mostly locals - but again it was Christmas and not as many tourists.
I had no idea that a daube would take as much time. I can hardly wait to try it now.
In the Larousse Gastronomique, a daube is just an old style beef braised in a wine based liquid.
In another cookbook of French cooking Boeuf en Daube is braised in sealed casserole, without stirring. The name seems to refer as much to the cooking pot as the method, the modern equivalent would be enameled cast iron dutch oven.
The only daube I've had is one called "Bouef en Daube a la Sainte-Tulle", from The Auberge of the Flowering Hearth, made by a friend years ago. It was fabulous, and includes a black truffle, but no chocolate. The author notes "Incidentally, a daube in French cuisine implies that the meat is cut into pieces, while a la mode is the equivalent of what we call a pot roast."
Paula Wolfert has a nice recipe (or two?) in "The Cooking of SouthWest France" - and probably also in "The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook". I ***love*** her writing and I've never made anything that wasn't amazing from her recipes.
I checked her website and there are no recipes for daubes but I'm still such a Wolfert cheerleader that I'm posting it just to inspire people to read her. http://www.paula-wolfert.com
Wait, I found some online!
hmmm, ever hear of this website? http://www.chow.com/recipes/12400
Bewarned, however: if you do any with oxtail, you can get a great result, but it is a LOT.OF.WORK. If you don't take *pains* to degrease, it will be a gross mess. HTH!
The Gascony style daube in SW France has a complexity that rivals cassoulet, including lining the pot with pork skin (fat side out, since the skin side tends to stick), and 3-4 days of preparation. The book also has an oxtail daube.
I'm in the process of preparing some oxtails. Two nights ago I cooked them with a lightly seasoned broth, and stored the meat and broth separately. Last night I cleaned the visible fat off the meat/bone pieces. So the final stage should be relatively low in fat. Since I also have some chuck marinating in red wine, I may take the tails in a different direction, maybe Mexican with lots of ancho chile.
You just made me think of another point for the OP. About the degreasing and picking over... I know I said there's a lot that, but the other (nonobvious, even from Wolfert's recipes) thing about that is that I now use some chuck or similar long-stewing beef along with the oxtail or I just don't get enough *food* for all that work. I really didn't get this the first few times I made oxtail, and wound up doing hours and hours of work for ... practically nothing to eat. It was hardly more than a sauce. A delicious sauce, but for all that work and the delicious smell in the house for two days, not what we thought we were getting for *dinner*. I just didn't *get* exactly how much of the oxtail is inedible (fat, gristle, bone, tendons, etc.) - necessary for developing the flavor, of course, but not what you put in your mouth.
And Paul's right, you do the recipe in stages to remove the fat and it should come out nicely, not hugely fatty. Wolfert calls this "double degreasing". It's a lot of work, but the flavor you get from it is incredible.
I've been making a daube for many years, although it doesn't include chocolate. I understand daube is different region to region in France, kind of like barbeque here in the States. It's a two day affair but is not particularly labor intensive; you just have to plan ahead.
Here's my recipe:
3 lbs stew beef, cut into 2 to 3-inch cubes
4 med yellow or white onions, peeled and quartered
2 carrots, scraped and cut into thick slices
Handful of whole parsley, stems included
Half-dozen fresh thyme stalks
1 bay leaf
Square of cheesecloth
1 bottle (750 ml) of hearty red wine - Zin, Burgundy, etc.
1/4 c red wine vinegar
1/2 lb slab bacon, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
Peel of one orange, grated (I used a Microplaner - keeps the orange taste from being overpowering)
10 whole peppercorns
Salt and pepper
Put the beef, onions and carrots into a large bowl or dutch oven. Tie the herbs in the cheesecloth and add to the bowl. Pour on the wine and vinegar, then cover and marinate overnight. Give it a stir before you go to bed and again the next morning.
Drain the beef, reserving the marinade and vegetables. Dry the meat with paper towels. In a big pot or dutch oven, fry the bacon until crisp. Remove it and set it aside to drain. Brown the meat in the hot bacon fat, a few cubes at a time. Remove when nice and brown, and repeat until all the meat has been browned. Pour off all but three tablespoons of the bacon fat. Return the beef and bacon to the pot. Add the garlic, orange zest, peppercorns, marinade, vegetables and bag of herbs.
Add enough water to cover (if I have it, I'll use beef broth but water works fine), and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for four hours. Uncover and simmer for another hour, or until the meat is just falling apart. I like to shred the meat at this point, which doesn't take too much effort. Add salt and pepper to taste.
We serve this over buttered egg noodles, and it is divine in the winter. It freezes and reheats well too.
Sounds fantastic. Never made a daube that way, but I found this recipe online:
Again, this is not a recipe that I've tried, but after reading through it, I think it sounds quite good with the exception of how orange rind is used. I would limit the orange flavoring to a strip of zest rather than using 2 TBSP (zut alors!) of chopped rind--I fear that would just be too much orange flavor for my taste.