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Daube of Beef Provençal

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Daube of Beef Provençal
From From the Cooking School at La Campagne, by John Byrne.

Sometimes called the mother of all stews, daube is a classic French dish of slowly braised beef, red wine, vegetables, and seasonings. Traditionally, daube was cooked in a daubière, a heavy casserole or pot with a concave lid. In the days of wood fires, the lid would be filled with water to help radiate heat around the stew. Although modern ovens make such a pot unnecessary, it is still the sentimental favorite and widely used in Provence. Thus, most any stew cooked in this pot is called a daube.


6 slices bacon, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 carrots, sliced
4 pounds lean beef, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
Zest of 1 orange
1-1/2 cups beef stock
1/2 cup pitted black olives
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Heat a large lidded pot or casserole dish over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 2 minutes. Add onion and carrots and cook until lightly browned. Add cubed beef and stir frequently until browned. Add garlic and herbs and cook for 1 minute. Add red wine and zest and cook until liquid is reduced by half. Add beef stock; then cover and place in the oven. Cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until beef is very tender.

Take casserole from oven, remove lid, and skim off any scum that has risen to the top. Add olives and season with salt and pepper to taste. Replace lid and return to oven. Cook for another 30 minutes. Pour stew into serving bowls.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6


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