Beef Daube, Part 2

Welcome back!  Your beef should be nicely impregnated with the wine, cognac, spices and vegetables after its overnight marinade!  It’s time to pick up where we last left off.  I’m re-listing the last few ingredients you’ll need so you don’t have to refer back to the first post:

Daube ingredients, reprise

  • large Dutch oven
  • 1/2 cup AP flour
  • olive oil
  • 1 TB tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 cup Nicoise olives, pitted
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 chopped Italian parsley, for garnish

First, preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.  Plop the flour into a plastic bag, preferable ziplock (which I clearly did not have), and put aside.  Next set up a draining tray for the beef.  I use a rimmed baking sheet lined with a double layer of paper towels.  Using tongs, remove meat from the marinade, letting excess liquid drip back in the container.  Place meat on the lined baking sheet.

I use paper towels to sponge off any excess liquid; too much surface liquid will result in a thicker flour coating and that makes for a very gloppy sauce.  Season the meat with salt and pepper.  Drop meat into the plastic bag, close bag and shake well to ensure all pieces of meat are coated.  The meat should have a very light coat of flour.  After removing paper towels, place meat on the baking sheet.

Heat the dutch oven over medium high heat with enough olive oil to generously coat the bottom of the pot.  When a drop of water sizzles in the pot (be careful!), add a few cubes of beef to the pot.  You do not want to overcrowd the pot, or the meat will steam (ugly) and not brown (pretty).

Remove pieces as they brown to the baking sheet, replacing them with new pieces.  If you find the meat is no longer browning well, add more oil.  The process will take 20-30 minutes, depending on how many pieces you add to your pan.

Add the tomato paste to the empty pot and stir it with a wooden spoon to break it up and mix with any brown bits of flour and meat.  I like to brown the paste for extra flavor, but you can skip this step if you want.  Add the beef broth and stir well, making sure the paste is blended into the broth.  Add the salt and stir again.

Finally, it’s time to add the marinade.  Pour it in, then add the olives.  Stir to mix the olives with the rest of the vegetables and bacon.  Add the meat.  I try to distribute these evenly and push them into the liquid.  We’re doing a braise, so it is not necessary to have all pieces completely submerged.

Bring the daube to a gentle simmer (no boiling!), cover with lid and place in the preheated oven for 2-3 hours.  Check after 2 hours to see if the meat is tender; if not, keep going until you are happy with the meat’s consistency.  Remove pot from oven, let cool to room temperature, then place in your fridge overnight.  This is what the daube looks like after 3 hours in the oven:

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When you are ready to serve the daube, remove it from the refrigerator.  There will be a substantial layer of fat congealed on the surface.  You can easily remove this with a spoon.

Reheat the stew on the stove at low to medium low heat.  Stir occasionally.  While the stew warms, make your macaroni.  Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped parsley over the daube and serve with the macaroni.

Enjoy a little bit of Paris with a glass of red wine.

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