I am normally not a huge fan of beef stew. But this stew is not a traditional American beef and gravy dish. It is loaded with onions, shallots, bacon, a bouquet garni and a WHOLE BOTTLE of wine. It’s a fancy French twist on beef stew. Look ahead to the combined cook time before embarking on this international culinary journey – it is easy enough to assemble, but has a long cook time.
From Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan; also published online with a better explanation of the dish from Dorie here.
5. When the wine comes to a boil, cover the pot tightly with a piece of aluminum foil and the lid. Slide the daube into the oven and allow it to braise undisturbed for 1 hour.
6. Pull the pot out of the oven, remove the lid and foil, and stir everything up once. If it looks as if the liquid is reducing by a great deal (unlikely), add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Re-cover the pot with the foil and lid, slip it back into the oven, and cook for another 1 1/2 hours (total time is 2 1/2 hours). At this point, the meat should be fork-tender — if it’s not, give it another 30 minutes or so in the oven.
7. Taste the sauce. If you’d like it a little more concentrated (usually I think it’s just fine as is), pour it into a saucepan, put it over high heat, and boil it down until it’s just the way you like it. When the sauce meets your approval, taste it for salt and pepper. (If you’re going to reduce the sauce, make certain not to salt it until it’s reduced.) Fish out the bouquet garni and garlic and, using a large serving spoon, skim off the surface fat.
8. Serve the beef and vegetables moistened with the sauce.
Serving: I like to use shallow soup plates or small cast-iron cocottes for this stew. Spoon the daube out into the little casseroles and let each guest dig into one.
Storing: Like all stews, this can be kept in the refrigerator for about 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you are preparing the daube ahead, don’t reduce the sauce, just cool the daube and chill it. Then, at serving time, lift off the fat (an easy job when the daube’s been chilled), reduce the sauce, and season it one last time.