Daube in French means stew cooked in wine, which is exactly what this classic French dish is – beef stew cooked in red wine. This was perfect for the freezing weather that we’ve been having recently and made the whole house smell like a Sunday roast dinner.
The key to this dish is getting a good cut of beef. I went with 3.5lbs of beef chuck roast that were freshly cut by the butcher in slightly larger pieces (2 to 3 inch cubes) than stew meat, per Dorie’s recommendation.
You start by sautéing about 8 strips of regular bacon, then brown all of the chunks of beef in a little oil combined with the bacon grease.
After the bacon and the beef pieces were all browned, I removed them from the pot and set them aside. Then, I added the chopped Spanish onion and 6 shallots and sauteed them until they were tender and translucent.
I added chopped carrots, parsnips, and the bottom of a halved head of garlic (with most of the husk removed, leaving just enough for it to still hold together) to the mix and stirred them until coated with the oil and onions.
At this point I was supposed to add some brandy to loosen the browned bits that had stuck to the bottom of the pot, but I ended up using red wine because it was just too cold to go buy brandy at the liquor store. It worked just fine.
Then I added the meat back in, covered it with the rest of the bottle of red wine and just enough water to cover the contents of the pot. I brought it to a boil, and tossed in a sachet of rosemary, parsley, and thyme before covering the pot tightly with tin foil and its lid. Then I put the whole pot in a 350F oven for 2.5 hours, stirring once.
While the stew was simmering in the oven I whipped up some mashed potatoes, which was the perfect partner for the stew. The combination was incredibly comforting and filling. This stew definitely just earned a spot on my ‘go-to’ list!