Daube Provençale de Porcelet

Provençal Daube of Pork

The excellent flavour of this dish depends on 1–2 days marinating of the meat. ‘There are no short cuts in good cooking,’ said the chef Michel Chareton, who gave me the recipe in a small hotel-restaurant in Carcès mainly used by the locals.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg( lb) loin of pork, in one piece
  • 1 head of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 shallot
  • green part of a leek
  • a stalk of celery
  • a few stalks of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2–3 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 orange
  • 710 ml( pt) red wine
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 100 g( oz) petit salé or salt pork, diced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 wineglass Vieux Marc de Provence or brandy
  • salt, milled pepper

Method

Place the meat in a deep bowl. Slightly crush each clove of garlic with the blade of a knife. Dice the carrots, onion, shallots, leek and celery to make a mirepoix. Tip the vegetables into the bowl and add the parsley, bay leaves, thyme and finely grated zest of the orange. Add the wine and garlic and cover the bowl tightly. Leave in a cold place or the refrigerator for 1–2 days.

Take the meat from the marinade, remove the bone and cut the meat into 3 cm(1 in) cubes. Brown the bone in a pan, cover with water and simmer for 1 hour to make some stock. Take out the bone and reduce the stock over high heat to make 200 ml(a generous ¼ pint).

Strain the marinade and bring the liquid to the boil; skim off the froth and set the liquid aside.

Sauté the meat, in batches if necessary, in olive oil until nicely browned. Transfer the meat to a hot lidded casserole and sauté the petit salé or salt pork with the vegetable mirepoix until the fat runs. Sprinkle the flour into the pan, cook, stirring until it colours pale brown. Add the marc and set light to it, and gradually stir in the wine and reduced stock until the sauce thickens. Pour over the meat and deglaze the pan with the juice of the orange.

Cover the casserole and cook in a moderate oven (Mark 4, 180°C, 350°F) for 1–1½ hours until the meat is tender and the sauce is dark and flavourful. If it is too thin reduce it over high heat.

Serve the daube with noodles or boiled potatoes.

This is hardly the kind of recipe to tackle if time or tempers are short. But for people who find cooking a relaxing weekend activity it does make a fine dish on Saturday or Sunday evening.

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