Provençal Summer Daube

Daube, a Provençal beef stew, is most often made with red wine and takes days to prepare. This recipe uses white wine and can be made in a day. While it does marinate for 2 hours and cook for 3-4 hours, the actual chopping and prep time is minimal. The resulting stew is lighter than the red wine variety with a mellow sweetness that is perfect for a Sunday summer super. Fabulous served over pasta and accompanied by a white Rhone Valley wine.

Based on the Recipe White Wine Daube in The Provence Cookbook by Patricia Wells.

Recipe can be easily halved to serve 3-4 people.

6 lb beef round or shoulder, use a combination of 2-3 cuts and cut into 3 oz chunks
2 T olive oil
2 T brandy
Salt and pepper to taste
Oil for sautéing vegetables
2 large onions, sliced
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 oz mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and sliced
1 head garlic, cloves peeled and halved
Zest of one orange
2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped or 1 -15 oz can tomatoes, drained
2 bottles white wine, white Rhone Valley or any non-oaky white
1 bunch parsley, tied with string
3 bay leaves
½ t peppercorns
Salt to taste

Marinate the beef chunks in a mixture of the olive oil and brandy lightly seasoned with salt and pepper for 2 hours at room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 275°.

In a Dutch oven heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, mushrooms, garlic and orange zest. Reduce heat to medium and sweat until the onions soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beef with the marinade, tomatoes, wine, parsley, bay leaves and peppercorn. Bring to a simmer, cover and braise in the oven until the meat is fall-apart tender, about 3-4 hours. Check from time to time to ensure that the stew is simmering gently. Adjust oven temperature if needed.

When the meat has reached the desired tenderness remove from the oven and let sit while you prepare the pasta. Any excess fat can be skimmed from the top for a lighter stew. Correct the seasoning. Place cooked pasta in a bowl with the daube ladled on top. Serve immediately.