Daube Provençale de Boeuf

Beef and Wine Stew from Provence

This dish of beef slowly cooked with wine represents everything that I like about country food from the south of France. It is rich and aromatic and full of flavour. Serve it with the wine you’ve used in the cooking. This is a dish which transfers well to a northern kitchen; I recommend it for Sunday lunch.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg( lb) topside of beef
  • 275 ml(½ pt) Côtes du Rhône red wine
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1–2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence
  • salt, pepper
  • 115 g(4 oz) smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 225 g(8 oz) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • a strip of orange peel
  • 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
  • a handful of black olives

Method

In Britain you may have to remove any strips of fat tied on to the beef.

In a bowl mix the wine with the olive oil, garlic, herbs and some salt and pepper. Add the meat to the marinade and turn it over in it. Nowadays I place the meat and the marinade in a plastic bag which I seal and place in the bowl. In this way the liquid makes better all-over contact with the meat. Leave in a cold place or the refrigerator for 1–2 days, turning the meat over now and again.

Cook the bacon with the onion in a cast-iron casserole until the fat runs. Add the beef and sear lightly all over.

Pour in the marinade with the tomatoes, orange peel and the anchovies and bring to the boil.

Cover the casserole with a tight-fitting lid and cook in a low oven (Mark 2, 160°C, 325°F) for 2–3 hours until beautifully tender. Add the olives 10 minutes before serving.

Carve the beef into slices and serve with the sauce and a dish of plain boiled rice or noodles.

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