Here's a recipe for lovely Boeuf en Daube, which is one of the Big Three (les grandes trois?) French beef stews - the others being Boeuf Bourguignon, and Boeuf Carbonnade.
Here's what you need to make it:
1.5kg stewing steak, 225g bacon, 750ml beef stock, 2 cloves, 1 onion, 500ml red wine, 2 strips orange zest, 2 garlic cloves, 1 celery stalk, and 2 bay leaves.
Put the beef, red wine, orange zest, onion (cut into quarters), chopped garlic, celery (chopped into largeish pieces), bay leaves, and salt and pepper into a deep dish. Cover, and leave to marinate in the fridge for as long as you can (overnight is ideal - but a few hours is fine too):
Mmm, teal Le Creuset. Très bien.
Heat some olive oil in a saute pan (I use Anolon). Lift the beef out of the marinade in batches, and brown in the oil. Transfer the browned beef to a separate dish:
Then lift all the other marinade ingredients out of the marinade, and brown these too. You may find it easier to pour the contents of your marinade dish through a sieve, as this is the easiest way to separate the liquid from the rest of it. If you do this, make sure you have a pot under the sieve to catch the liquid - don't absent-mindedly pour it down the sink, people:
I'm not sure why you have to brown the marinade ingredients separately. But if The Bible says that's what you need to do, then that's what you do, folks.
You now need to locate a squat earthernware dish (a daubière). Short on daubières? Yes, me too, so I used the same Anolon pan that I browned the meat and marinade ingredients in. Any heavy-bottomed saucepan that is suitable for heating on top of the stove will work.
Put the marinade ingredients at the bottom of the pan, and then layer the beef on top. Pour the marinade liquid over the whole lot, along with the beef stock. Throw in the chopped bacon. You can, if so desired, replace the bacon with a pig's trotter. No, me neither. Bacon works just fine, thank you very much.
Bring to the boil, cover, and simmer on top of the stove for 2.5 hours. Remove the orange peel, chunks of onion, pieces of celery, and bay leaves, and discard.
Boeuf en Daube is supposed to be really thick and lucious - so you'll need to thicken up the sauce. Here's how you do it. Transfer 2 tablespoons of liquid from the stew to a small saucepan. Add 2 heaped tablespoons of plain flour, and whisk until smooth. Add 2 more tablespoons of liquid and whisk again. Add 2 more tablespoons of liquid and whisk again. Continue until you have a nice amount of smooth, thick sauce, and then pour the whole lot back into the main pan:
Heat for a few minutes (it takes a bit of time and heat for the magical thickening power of the flour to kick in) and if it's not thick enough, repeat the process.
Here's how my Boeuf en Daube ended up - mmm, look at that lovely sauce. Sooooooooooo thick:
I served it with wild rice, and rocket salad, together with a glass of red wine (natch). Fantastique:
And with that, I am signing off pour le weekend. Thank you all for reading, and have a good one y'all.
Psst! If you like this, you may also like:
Recipe: Coq au vin (it's très bien)