Daube is a traditional French beef stew made with tough, inexpensive cuts of beef, which are braised in wine with vegetables and herbs. Traditionally this dish was cooked in a daubière — a terracotta pot, shaped like a pitcher with a concave lid. This recipe for daube is courtesy of David McAninch, from his book Duck Season.
“Like many Gascon dishes, this one takes time: a full night for marinating, and another to let the stew rest before it’s degreased and gently cooked a second time the following day. Most Gascons I know use poitrine de boeuf, or brisket, for daube, but I recommend good-quality chuck instead, since American brisket isn’t usually streaked with fat in the same way French poitrine is. Also, adding tomatoes isn’t particularly Gascon, but they give a nice, subtle acidity to this rich braise.” — David McAninch
- 3 Pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 bouquets garnis (each containing 3 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, 1 bay leaf)
- 4 garlic cloves, smashed, plus 2 more cloves, chopped
- One 750-milliliter bottle dry red wine
- 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons rendered duck fat or olive oil
- 2 large carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- 2 large plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and add to a cast-iron Dutch oven (cocotte) along with the leek and one of the bouquets. Stir to combine. Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
The next day, remove the chunks of beef from the marinade and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Strain the marinade using cheesecloth or a fine-mesh strainer; discard the leeks, the smashed garlic, and the used bouquet garni.
Divide the strained marinade between two bowls; whisk the flour into half the strained marinade.
Working in batches, brown the meat in the duck fat (or oil, if using) in the bottom of the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Transfer the browned meat to a plate.
Add the carrots, onion, celery, tomatoes, and chopped garlic to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables soften slightly. Return the meat to the Dutch oven along with the second bouquet garni and all the reserved marinade and stir to combine.
Simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until the meat is tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Remove the Dutch oven from the heat and allow the stew to come to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the congealed fat from the surface of the daube, and remove and discard the second bouqet garni. Allow the stew to come up to room temperature. Bring to a simmer again over medium-low heat and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
Serve with steamed potatoes and plenty of crusty bread.
From the book DUCK SEASON: Eating, Drinking and Other Misadventures in Gascony—France's Last Best Place by David McAninch. Copyright © 2017 by David McAninch. Reprinted courtesy of Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.