Provencal Beef Stew

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious! www.thecafesucrefarine.com

Beef Daube – it’s beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves; it’s slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious!

Bonjour and Bon Appétit from Provence!

Scott and I planned a little side trip to France in the midst of our visit with family in London. We rented a flat for a week in Apt, smack dab in the heart of Provence but I have to say, when we landed in Marseille on Wednesday and saw gray, cloudy skies and pouring rain, we couldn’t help but wonder if perhaps someone had played a trick on us. Did the plane just circle around Heathrow for a few hours and then plop us right back down in London?

Nope, definitely not! Thursday morning brought clear blue skies with mild temperatures, and we’ve been loving our temporary home-away-from-home. Apt is perched on the edge of the beautiful Luberon mountains and it’s charming city center is old and quaint, dating back to the Roman times. We’ll be posting more about Apt, our apartment and the surrounding area, as well as sharing a delightful Provencal culinary school we attended; but I couldn’t wait any longer to tell you about what’s become a favorite Café recipe lately; Beef Daube.

Clear Blue Skies in Apt, France

What’s daube? I had no idea until I started researching regional Provencal fare several months ago, in anticipation of our trip. To start with, I learned it’s pronounced dōb. I was intrigued when I read about daube, a French version of beef stew that’s been popular here in Provence for centuries. It’s typically made from inexpensive, tougher cuts of beef and braised for hours in wine with onions, carrots, garlic and herbs until the beef is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and all the flavors have melded.

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious! www.thecafesucrefarine.com

I looked at lots of different recipes for daube, and then came up with my own version. It’s a bit different, in that I used leaner beef to make the dish a little healthier, (less fat) but other than that I kept this daube fairly traditional.

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt in your mouth tender and crazy delicious!

Of course, I didn’t have access to any Provencal beef since I made this before we left, but I did happen to have some wonderful beef. I used a R.G. Shipley Signature Beef™ sirloin tip roast for my daube. R.G. Shipley Signature Beef™ comes from a multigenerational farm located in the beautiful mountains of North Carolina. Shipley cows are pasture raised with no added hormones or antibiotics, and the beef is dry-aged, producing tender meat with consistently great flavor. If you’d like to learn more about R.G. Shipley Signature Beef™,  visit their online store where you can order your own fabulous farm-to-table steaks, roasts, ground beef, etc.

Shipley Beef

I love that daube, not only can, but should be made a day or two ahead. It gets better as it rests in the fridge and the flavors have time to meld together. Daube is easily warmed before serving, making it perfect for entertaining and great for meals around the holidays when time is at a premium. Rather than adding the mushrooms in the beginning with the other veggies, I like to sauté them in a bit of butter, until golden and add them to the daube just before serving – the mushrooms tend to keep their shape better and each bite is a delicious burst of flavor.

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt in your mouth tender and crazy delicious!

Here at The Café, daube is served in shallow bowls with polenta or mashed potatoes. You could also serve it on it’s own. With carrots, onions and mushrooms cooked right along with the meat, daube is a meal in a bowl. Just add a simple green salad and a loaf of warm, crusty bread (French, of course to sop up the fabulous sauce) and you’re good to go.

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious! www.thecafesucrefarine.com

I’ve served this Provencal Beef Stew several times to friends and again to my family in London, each time to rave reviews. Pin it, and next time you need a delicious, make-ahead, comfort food, dinner party-worthy entree, you’ll be all set! When your guests arrive, say “Bonjour, bienvenue en Provence!” (Hello, and welcome to Provence!) They’ll flip after taking the first delicious bite – then you just smile and say, “Bon appétit!”

P.S. This is the coolest thing ever: I’d always heard that thyme and rosemary grow wild all over the countryside in Provence – and it’s true! Scott and I were on a long bike ride yesterday. We stopped (for the millionth time) for another photo op (they’re around every single corner here in Provence!). Scott looked down and said, “Is that thyme?” Sure enough, we looked around and there were wild thyme and rosemary plants here, there and everywhere! They will even grow out of a tiny opening in a rock wall! I think I might have been born in the wrong country – imagine, taking a walk or bike ride and being able to pick fresh herbs for your evening dinner!!

Disclosure: We were given samples of R.G. Shipley Signature Beef™, but have not been monetarily compensated for this post. All opinions are entirely ours.

Rosemary and thyme grow wild all over the countryside in Provence. Wild Rosemary, Provence, France

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Provencal Beef Stew

Beef Daube - it's beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it's slow roasted till all the flavors meld together and the beef is melt in your mouth tender and crazy delicious!

4.8 from 6 reviews

It’s beef stew, Provencal style! Made with red wine, rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, it’s slow roasted till all the flavors meld together, and the beef is melt-in-your-mouth tender and crazy delicious!

  • Author:
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: French

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-2 ½ pounds sirloin tip roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 to 2-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or other neutral flavored oil)
  • 12 medium garlic cloves*, peeled and crushed slightly
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced in thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons anchovie paste**
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary, plus more for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 medium bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 pound mushrooms***

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 250°. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a medium size bowl. Add beef to the bowl and toss with your hands until beef is coated.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium low heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft and pale golden. Remove to a large plate or bowl. Increase heat to medium.
  3. Add half of the beef. Distribute so beef is in a single layer. Cook for several minutes without stirring, till beef is nice and brown on the underside, then flip and brown on the other side. Remove beef with a slotted spoon to the plate with the garlic and repeat with second half. When beef is nicely browned remove to the plate.
  4. Add the wine and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan with a metal spoon or spatula to loosen the frond (the brown bits). Continue to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until wine mixture is reduced to about 1/2 cup.
  5. Add the broth, beef, garlic and any remaining flour that’s left in the bowl. Stir to combine, then add carrots, onion, tomato paste, anchovie paste, fresh herbs and bay leaf. Bring to a boil then cover and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until beef is very tender. Remove bay leaves and set daube aside to cool. Refrigerate overnight or for as long as 2-3 days.
  6. To warm daube before serving, preheat oven to 250˚F. Heat daube in oven, covered, for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated through.
  7. While daube is warming, melt butter in a medium size pan. Add mushrooms, 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Sauté until golden brown. (After several minutes of cooking, mushrooms will look watery. Just keep cooking till all of the liquid is evaporated and mushrooms turn golden.) Add mushrooms to daube, just before serving.
  8. Serve daube in shallow bowls, on it’s own or over mashed potatoes or polenta (our favorite). Garnish with fresh herbs.

Notes

* 12 cloves sounds like a lot. Don’t worry that the Daube will be two garlicky. As the stew slowly cooks the garlic seems to “melt” into the delicious sauce.

** Don’t skip this. If you don’t like anchovies, don’t worry! You’ll never know in a million years they are anchovies in here but they add fabulous flavor.

*** I’ve used button mushrooms and a variety of wild mushrooms. Use whatever kind you like or what’s freshest at the market.)

 

 



37 thoughts on “Provencal Beef Stew”

  • Will be cooking your fantastic sounding recipe next week for a very special family dinner. I will let you know the comments. How many does this recipe serve please

  • I live about 40 kilometers from Apt and I think your recipe is very much what you’d find served as the “plat du jour” around this area. Great recipe. Regarding the wild herbs, the plant that looks so much like rosemary around here is actually sarriette, a relative. When you buy fresh goat cheese, it’s often wrapped with a sprig of sarriette. When I first moved here, I thought it was rosemary, as well. Right now, the thyme is in bloom everywhere, so your husband would be stopping his bike frequently. Glad you enjoyed our area.

  • This stew is so good. We really enjoyed every bite. Do you have a stew made with chicken that you love. I am having a hard time finding a chicken stew. There are lots of soup. I really love your blog and have tried quite a few of your recipes. Haven’t had a a bad one yet and I am forever pinning them from Pinterest . Thank you so much.

    • Oh, such a sweet comment Christy; you’ve made our day! I can’t think of a stew recipe, but we will be posting an amazing chicken pot pie soup soon that might really be up your alley!

  • Just got a new stove. Planning on having friends over Saturday evening. Just wondering if you could suggest a salad? Thinking of making a mousse to go along with the leftover Christmas cookies serving for dessert.

      • Yes, we’ve “chatted” before. The St John’s Cook Book. Will check out the suggestions. Both sound delicious, thanks. Will let you know what I serve.

      • The daube was incredible. Made it the day before. Cut my own cubes of beef from a sirloin roast. Wonderfully tender. Only problem, forgot to cook and add the mushrooms last night. Took some teasing. Stew received high marks. My guests enjoyed the West Bend connection. I made a variation of the salad using raspberries and dried cranberries instead of red grapes and pom seeds. Dessert was Christmas cookies and French vanilla ice cream with your recipe for hot fudge sauce. Wonderful meal; wonderful evening.

        • That’s so awesome Beth, thanks so much for sharing! I love hearing how Café recipes bring family and friends together!! Sounds like a wonderful dinner 🙂

          Thanks for taking the time to let us know!

  • I made this stew today … delicious, delicious, delicious. It’s a keeper! What kind of dessert would you recommend to serve with this?

  • A beautiful stew from an even more beautiful locale. I love thyme! I usually grow 2-3 varieties every summer. Wish is was a perennial here. What a wonderful trip!

  • I could not find mention of the anchovy paste in your directions; probably just missed it but I read the directions twice.
    I ended up adding it at the same time I added the tomato paste and fresh herbs. Right or wrong the recipe turned out to be delicious..

  • Dear Chris, looks and sounds like the two of you are having an absolutely wonderful time in Europe – we are experiencing unusually warm weather around here – maybe the same in France? It feels like springtime rather than fall. Your Provencal Beef Stew looks utterly delicious, what an amazing recipe!
    Have a fabulous time, enjoy some wonderful food and keep all those lovelypictures coming!
    Andrea
    P.S.: Next time you are travelling to Europe, consider maybe a trip to Cologne…that would be fun

    • It would be wonderful Andrea! We’ll have to include Germany soon – it’s been about 20 years since our daughter Cait, spent a year on a government foreign exchange program there. We visited her with her host family just north of Frankfurt and had the best time!

  • Is there anything you can use instead of anchovy paste for flavor? I have an anaphylactic allergy to fish. Thanks!

    • Hi Debbie,

      No, no, we don’t want you doing the anchovy paste! 🙂 Just skip it, it does add great flavor but there is a ton of flavor even without it. You may need a bit of extra salt as anchovies do add a salty flavor. Just wait till the end and taste it. Add more salt if needed. Hope you enjoy it!

      Kind Regards,
      Chris

  • Great recipe; very similar to the Italian beef with red wine stew I learned to make in the late 60’s in San Francisco. Using anchovy paste in the stew and sauteing the mushrooms to add just before serving is inspired! Cooking all day in a cast iron dutch oven is traditional; not sure the flavor would be the same in a slow cooker. I’ve learned that a full-bodied, rich, almost syrupy, red wine adds to the complexities of flavor, especially when the same wine is served with meal.

  • I’ve already printed your recipe, Chris. I have wonderful memories of a lovely cruise through Provence several years ago and am always eager to try a dish that brings back those treasured memories. Very happy that the weather improved.

  • Gotta love a guy who gets off a bike and notices thyme;)
    Again lucky ducks..you must be having the time of your lives.
    This dish..looks like winter and comfort to me.

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