Boeuf en daube

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Boeuf en daube is traditional recipe from France. Daubes are traditionally cooked in squat earthenware dishes called daubières, but a cast-iron casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid will work just as well. Daubes hail from Provence and are usually served with buttered macaroni, new potatoes or rice. Variations also call for olives, prunes, and flavoring with duck fat, vinegar, brandy, lavender, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, juniper berries, or orange peel. For best flavor, it is cooked in several stages, and cooled for a day after each stage to allow the flavors to meld together. In the Camargue and Béarn area of France, bulls killed in bullfighting festivals are often used for daube.

Ingredients:

Marinade

2 cloves

1 onion, cut into quarters

500 ml red wine

2 strips of orange zest

2 garlic cloves

½ celery stalk

2 bay leaves

a few parsley stalks

1.5 kg beef topside, blade or rump, cut into a large pieces

2 tablespoons oil

3 strips pork fat

1 pig’s trotter or 225 g piece streaky bacon

700 ml beef stock

boeuf de daube

Preparation:

To make the marinade, push the cloves into a piece of onion and mix together in a large bowl with the remaining marinade ingredients. Season the beef with salt and pepper, add to the marinade and leave to marinate overnight.

Heat the oil in a saucepan. Lift beef out of the marinade and pat dry, then brown in batches in the oil and remove to a plate. You might need to use a little of the marinade liquid to deglaze the pan between batches to prevent bits sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning.

Strain marinade through a sieve into a bowl and tip the contents of the sieve into a pan to brown. Remove from the pan. Add marinade liquid to the pan and boil, stirring, for 30 seconds to deglaze the pan.

Place the pork fat in a large casserole, then add the pig’s trotter, beef and marinade ingredients. Pour in the marinade liquid and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 2 – 2½ hours or until the meat is tender.

Lift the meat out of the casserole into a serving dish, cover and keep warm. Discard the garlic, onion, pork fat and pig’s trotter. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve and skim off as much fat as possible, then return to the casserole. Bring to the boil and boil until reduced by half and syrupy. Pour the gravy over the meat to serve.