Thursday, October 23, 2014

Trail of Crumbs: La Daube Provencale

This is not a weeknight meal.  This is a hang home all day and let things simmer kind of meal. Which is one of my favorite kinds.  Because it means I get to be home all day.  And that rarely happens.  Last weekend we had an uncharacteristically empty weekend.  Just a birthday party Saturday morning.

And yet, somehow we ended up going to a pumpkin patch, getting Thatbaby's hair cut, running some errands, painting tombstones and attending a street fair.  You know, your basic do-nothing weekend.

I much prefer the weekends where I can hang out at home with my family, smelling the wafting scent of marinated beef cooking and listening to the little bubbles popping as it gets softer and more tender over the hours.

Red wine adds depth and complexity to this relatively simple dish, and the orange adds a new flavor element.  Sunee adds tapenade to thicken it, but I didn't find it to really add anything.  Served over polenta, it's the perfect way to end a lazy day at home.  If those actually happened.

La Daube Provencale (From Trail of Crumbs)
3 lbs beef chuck
3 medium onions, quartered
3 to 4 carrots, cut lengthwise and cut into thirds
bouquet garni
3 cups dry red wine
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1/3 cup flour
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 to 4 garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
1 orange
1 1/2 to 2 cups beef stock
2 to 3 Tbsp black olive tapenade

  1. Combine beef and 2 of the onions and next 3 ingredients in large bowl.  Let marinate 5 to 6 hours.
  2. Heat bacon on medium high in a large heavy-bottom pot about 5 minutes.
  3. Place flour in a shallow bowl.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Remove beef with a slotted spoon and drain well.
  6. Lightly dredge beef chunks in flour, adding a little more flour, as needed.
  7. Add beef to pot and let brown, turning occasionally, about 8 minutes.
  8. Add remaining onion and let cook about 5 minutes.
  9. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and a strip of orange rund, and stir.
  10. Add reserved wine marinade (reserve onions, carrots, and bouquet garni)  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium high and let wine reduce, skimming fat, about 15 minutes.
  11. Add 1 1/2 to 2 cups beef stock or water, stir.
  12. Add reserved onion, carrot, and bouquet garni.  Stir and cover pot and let cook on low heat about 3 1/2 to 4 hours. 
  13. Remove orange rind and bouquet garni and discard.
  14. Zest remaining orange and add to pot.
  15. Squeeze juice from the orange, add to pot and stir.  Let cool, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  16. Heat on medium to warm before serving and stir in tapenade.


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  2. Yum!! I love a good "home" day, where nothing is planned (literally nothing, no pumpkin patch visits, birthday parties etc) and the smell of dinner cooking all day permeates the house.

    This looks fabulous!

  3. I love to sit at home and smell the food also. It's one of the best parts of the weekend!