Perfect for a chilly November evening, this is one of Miss Meze’s favorite dishes. Stolen outright from the illustrious Food and Wine website, we make this every year, with very few changes.
In addition to the dried Porcini mushrooms the recipe calls for, we have always taken the liberty of adding extra fungi in the form of the luscious morel, which can also be found dried. Be careful when reconsituting dried mushrooms to rub them together carefully in order to remove any grit.
Another important aspect of your daube is what type of wine you choose. We highly, highly recommend using an earthy French red if at all possible. Do not use the cheapest wine you can find- remember, all of the flavors of the wine (or lack thereof) will echo throughout the dish. We have had great success with Les Hérétiques VdP de l’Héraul, which can be found for a reasonable price.
Finally, if you wish, you can transfer your daube to a crock pot for the final stage of cooking. This is the type of dish that tastes better the next day, after the flavors have melded together, so it may behoove you to create the dish the evening before, store overnight in the refrigerator, then simmer in the crockpot the next day.
From the Food and Wine website:
1 cup boiling water, plus 2 cups at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds trimmed beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
3 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups red wine
3/4 cup tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 thyme sprig or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a heatproof bowl, soak the dried porcini in the 1 cup of boiling water until softened, about 20 minutes. Rub the mushrooms together to loosen any grit, then remove them from the water and coarsely chop. Let the soaking liquid stand for 5 minutes to settle, then pour it into a clean bowl, leaving any grit behind.
- Heat the olive oil in a medium enameled cast-iron casserole. Add one-third of the meat at a time, season with salt and brown well on all sides over moderate heat, about 6 minutes; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining meat.
- Add the carrots and onions to the casserole and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
- Discard any fat in the casserole. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and cook until it browns lightly, about 3 minutes. Gradually stir in the wine and the 2 cups of water, scraping up the browned pan juices. Return the meat to the casserole. Add the tomato paste, bay leaves, thyme and the porcini and their soaking liquid. Bring to a boil.
- Cover the casserole tightly and bake for 3 hours, or until the cubes of beef are very tender. Discard the bay leaves and the thyme sprig and skim the fat from the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Make Ahead The daube can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.