Daube Provencal

Published November 1, 2005.

Why this recipe works:

For our daube Provençal recipe, we started with the test kitchen's reliable set of techniques for turning tough but flavorful beef into a tender stew and then concentrated on selecting and managing the complex blend of ingredients that define a daube Niçoise: earthy cèpes, briny Niçoise… read more

For our daube Provençal recipe, we started with the test kitchen's reliable set of techniques for turning tough but flavorful beef into a tender stew and then concentrated on selecting and managing the complex blend of ingredients that define a daube Niçoise: earthy cèpes, briny Niçoise olives, bright tomatoes, floral orange peel, and the regional herbs of thyme and bay. A few anchovies added complexity without a fishy taste, and salt pork contributed rich body. A bottle of wine added bold flavor to our daube Provençal recipe and needed just a little bit of cooking to lose its raw bite.

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Serves 4 to 6

Serve this French beef stew with egg noodles or boiled potatoes. If niçoise olives are not available, kalamata olives, though not authentic, can be substituted. Cabernet Sauvignon is our favorite wine for this recipe, but Côtes du Rhône and Zinfandel also work. Our favorite cut of beef for this recipe is chuck-eye roast, but any boneless roast from the chuck will work. Because the tomatoes are added just before serving, it is preferable to use canned whole tomatoes and dice them yourself--uncooked, they are more tender than canned diced tomatoes. Once the salt pork, thyme, and bay leaves are removed in step 4, the daube can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Before reheating, skim the hardened fat from the surface, then continue with the recipe.

Ingredients

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