Daube à la Provençale
Given the short list of ingredients and the small amount of work needed to prepare this dish it tastes just phenomenal. Even (or especially) if you think that French cooking is difficult… give this one a try. Daube (pronounced dob, with a loooong o) is one of our favourites. I normally take the necessary ingredients for four people, so that we can have one immediately and another one in the fridge or freezer, for next week or so. But it is entirely feasible to do this for just two people.
Here is the recipe (for a party of four):
- 1.2 kg of beef (braising or stewing meat is fine; in fact, this works better than steak because it won't dry out)
- 300 gr of smoked bacon, preferably with some fat on it (what the French call “poitrine fumée”)
- two onions
- garlic to taste
- a few spoons of olive oil
- one bottle of red wine (as the red forms the basis of this dish use a stronger grape, like a Cabernet)
- four or five cloves
- two or three bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste
Clean the beef and cut it into portions of about the size of a small child's fist, but not too small. Chop one onion, not too finely, and cut the bacon into small pieces. Put the onion and the bacon together with the olive oil into a pot big enough also for taking the beef and the wine (preferably an iron pot that can hold the heat) and heat for a short while, steadily stirring the mixture with a wooden spoon. Once the onions begin to turn golden, put the beef portions into the pot and fry them for another minute or so. Keep stirring.
Pour the wine slowly over the meat (if you'd rather drink it at that point, don't: the recipe is really worth it). If the beef is not covered well, add a little more wine or water until it is (more or less, half a centimetre or so is fine). Add the cloves, the bay leaves and one or two cloves of roughly chopped garlic. Put a lid on the pot and let the whole thing simmer, slowly, very slowly, for about four hours. Check occasionally that the level of liquid doesn't fall too much and replace with some water if it does.
After four hours (or a little sooner, in case the nice smell becomes unbearable for your hungry stomach:-)) finely chop the second onion, a little more garlic (to taste) and put that into the mixture. Add salt and pepper and let the mixture simmer for another few minutes. Serve with small, freshly boiled potatoes or mash (delicious, the mixture of the sauce with the potatoes…) or pasta: the bigger curly noodles are not bad for this.
$updated from: Daube à la Provençale.htxt Sat 18 Jan 2014 13:14:24 thomasl (By Thomas Lauer)$