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Daube of Beef Recipe
A French-style casserole - delicious, and very easy to make. Like all casseroles, it improves if kept overnight.
If the quantity seems alarming, it freezes extremely well - either packed into individual helpings or as one unit - but the recipe can be halved if necessary.
If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at http://www.gourmetbritain.com/cookery-wine-schools/32475/simon-scrutton-cookery-classes/ - top-class dishes from beginners upwards
For 8 people (it's worth making this quantity, as it re-heats well):
- 4 lbs/2 kilos trimmed & cubed Stewing Steak (shin is best)
- 1 lb/500gr sliced Belly Pork, the rind removed, and cut into bit-size pieces
- 1 Pig's Trotter, washed and split by your butcher
- 2 lbs/1 kilo Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (or in winter months, 2 x 400gr tins of chopped Tomatoes
- 1 lb/500gr Old Carrots, peeled and cut into small chunks
- 1 lb/500gr Flat Mushrooms, quartered
- Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper
- 1½ pints/900ml Water
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) Tomato Purée
1¾ pints/ 1 litre Heavy Red Wine
3 medium Onions, peeled and quartered
1 Herbes de Provence bouquet garni - those from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk (http://www.gourmetherbs.co.uk/) - correctly containing both green anise & lavender give excellent results
2 strips of Orange Rind (without the white pith) - Seville if possible (but only available in Jan & Feb)
2 big (or 4 medium) cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
3 whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 tablespoons (30ml) Olive Oil
1.Cut the trimmed beef into 2 in/5cm cubes. If using skirt, keep the gristly/gelatinous bits in, as they enrich the sauce when they 'melt' when cooked.
2. Put the beef in a big stainless steel or glass container with the marinade ingredients, pouring the olive oil in last. Leave to marinate for about 24 hours in the fridge, or overnight in a cool place, turning the meat occasionally.
3. Set the oven to 150ºC/300ºF/ Gas 2.
4. Add the cubed belly pork and the split trotter, followed by all the other ingredients (including the marinade liquid), except the mushrooms, in a casserole.
5. Add as much water as is necessary to cover the ingredients. Cover the container and bring the mixture to the boil on top of the cooker.
6. Transfer the dish to the oven, and cook for 3½ - 4 hours or until the beef is very tender - adding the mushrooms for the last hour, mixing them well in.
7. Remove the trotter and use a fork to pull its meat in shreds from the bones. Return the shredded meat to the daube. Remove the bouquet garni.
8. Allow the daube to cool a little, then skim off any obvious excess fat.
9. Check for seasoning.
As mentioned, this dish will improve if kept overnight (indeed even a few days) when more fat will have come to the surface and should be removed.