Beef Daube Provençal

Ready to try a beef daube recipe that will have you coming back for more and more? The flavors in this French Provençal stew recipe are just a little unusual, and completely tasty.

Recipe Notes

beef daube

This recipe is really quite easy, but it requires time to marinate the meat and then many hours to cook, so save it for a weekend or any day you'll be at home. Once it's cooking it requires next to no attention, and your house will smell so good that everyone will be looking forward to dinner hours in advance.

Ideally this recipe bakes in a daubière, which is a special French earthenware vessel that allows for air tight braising. Alternatively, you can seal the lid on an oven proof dish with a simple dough made from flour and water, called a lut in French cooking. Being a simple sort of gal, I just use my trusty Staub Dutch oven with the lid on and the beef daube recipe comes out just fine, although perhaps more of the sauce evaporates then would with a daubière.

Please use a fairly good red wine to make this. You don't need to knock yourself out, but don't use plonk, because the flavor of the dish rests upon the wine. (By the way this is not one of those dishes where you can use a substitute - if you don't do wine, I am afraid you will have to skip the beef daube). I used a Côtes de Rhône to make this recipe and the result was perfect.

Serving Suggestion: For a satisfying and delicious dinner, serve this beef daube recipe with a loaf of French bread and a side of sauteed French green beans

Daube Provençal

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 3 hours

Makes 6 generous servings.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds stew beef (boneless beef chuck)
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • bouquet garni
  • olive oil (4 tablespoons or more)
  • 4 ounces bacon, cut in small pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup black olives (Niçoise olives if possible)

Directions

  1. Cut the beef in pieces about 1 1/2 inches on each side. In a large bowl, mix together the wine, vinegar, chopped onion, chopped carrots, cloves, salt, pepper, bouquet garni, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the meat and stir to cover all the meat in the marinade. Cover well and place in the refrigerator over night.
  2. The next day, reserving the marinade, remove the meat and dry it well with paper towels. In a large Dutch oven (or similar sturdy and oven proof cooking vessel with a close fitting lid), warm 2 tablespoons olive oil on medium heat. Working in small batches (two or three), add the meat and brown it on all sides. After the meat is browned, remove it from the pot, and set it aside on a plate. Continue until all of the meat has been browned. You may need to add a little more olive oil along the way to keep things from sticking.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the pot and then add the bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for five minutes. Add the crushed garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the meat back into the pot and then the reserved marinade. Stir in the orange juice and orange zest. Bring the daube to a boil, then turn down the heat to low and cover tightly.
  4. Cook for two hours on low heat. At the end of this cooking time, stir in the black olives. If a lot of the sauce has evaporated, you may want to add a cup of so of water at this point. Put the lid back on the Dutch oven and put it in the oven set at 350°F to bake for one hour.
  5. Serve hot from the oven or rewarm it to serve the next day.

Reader Review

"This was one of the most delicious things I've ever served. The challenge of cooking anything slightly 'exotic" in Wisconsin is finding ingredients that can't be found in the bratwurst and cheese aisles. Other than the specific type of olive your recipe called for, I was ultimately to find everything at the local Piggly Wiggly (yes, that is the name of our supermarket in these parts - just to give you an idea of what I'm working with!) I had never made anything like this before and didn't quite know what to expect. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. I'll be making it again this weekend for another dinner party. I never tire of it (obviously)!"

- Steven

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