Daube is a classic Provençal stew also prepared in other regions of France, made with inexpensive cuts of beef and prepared ahead of time. Here is a Charentaise version of the original.
Ingredients: (for 6 people)
1 kg beef (braising steak, shin of beef, stewing beef or topside) cut in large pieces
750g carrots chopped in round pieces
4 or 5 onions cut in halves or quarters depending on size
3 or 4 garlic cloves chopped
200g lard cut in small pieces
A bouquet garni sachet
Salt & pepper
1 lt good red wine
10 cl of cognac
What to do:
In a large casserole take a little oil and melt the pieces of lard over a medium heat. Add the pieces of meat in stages ensuring you do not overcrowd the pan and keep the heat medium-high stirring to ensure they brown all over. Keep the browned meat on a warm place until all are done.
In the same casserole add the onions, garlic and carrots and brown for a few minutes. With the heat at medium, replace the meat and add the red wine and cognac stirring well to ensure everything is well mixed.
Season with salt & pepper, add the bouquet garni sachet, cover and bring to the boil then reduce the heat to as low as possible whilst keeping a gentle simmer. Cook for 2 to 3 hours depending on the cut of meat used.
Check every half an hour or so to ensure the sauce is not too dry, if so add a little more wine as necessary.
This dish tastes even better if cooked in advance and reheated.
Reproduced with thanks to Mme Susie Bouet and “Le Cognac Gastronome” by Andrée MARIK
Photo by tpholland via flickr