Very simply, a daube (pronounced dohb) is a red-wine-based beef or lamb stew. This type of dish has countless flavor permutations, of course, but the most famous (and my favorite) is the Provençal daube, seasoned with local herbs and a bit of orange zest. The orange was originally the bitter Seville orange, but you can make a fine daube with a few strips of navel orange (add a strip of lemon, too, if you want to sharpen the flavor). I also like to add some sort of vegetable garnish to sweeten and brighten the stew. Here I’ve used carrots cut into hefty chunks so they hold their shape during the long cooking, but you could also use a combination of parsnips, baby onions, and celeriac.
Make Ahead Tips
This dish can be made up to three days ahead. Reserve the chopped parsley and don’t bother skimming the surface fat. Instead, transfer the cooled stew to a bowl or baking dish, cover tightly, and refrigerate. Before reheating, lift off the layer of solid fat that will be on the surface. Reheat gently in a 325ºF oven in a covered baking dish, stirring once, for about 30 min., or until hot. Taste for salt and pepper and add the parsley just before serving.
Mashed potatoes would be a perfect foil for the daube’s rich wine sauce. Or you could serve the daube with wide egg noodles tossed with butter and parsley.
This stew needs a rich, earthy red from the Old World, such as a Grenache blend from the southern Rhône Valley. Try the 2005 Mas Grand Plagniol “Tradition,” Costières de Nîmes, $10, or the 2004 Château du Trignon, Gigondas, $18.
Rather than buying already cut-up stew meat, buy a whole chuck roast and cut it into 1-1/2- to 2-inch cubes. These larger chunks won’t dry out during the long braise, and they make the stew more satisfying to eat.
COVID-19 pandemic. Cold January night. Perfect comfort food for our family of 4. Delicious served with cauliflower purée as a base.
This is one one my favourite recipes in the Fine Cooking archive. A winner.
This is one one my favourite recipes in the Fine Cooking archive and I have made it many times. A winner.
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