this is freezer food – i bought a pack of stewing meat from donald russell earlier in the year and turned it into a traditional beef daube provencale, using their recipe, put it in the freezer and promptly forgot about it.
digging it out on a chilly day, i was in search of stodge but also had thoughts of spring in my mind. i made a gremolata of parsley, lemon zest and garlic to serve with it but this was overkill – the garlic overwhelmed the subtle daube flavours. however, leftovers with a sprinkle of parsley and lemon worked really well and this ended up being a good recipe for the temperamental spring weather we’re getting.
donald russell’s traditional daube provençale (serves 8-12)
1.5kg beef rib trim
500ml of gutsy red wine
5 garlic cloves
4 large sprigs of thyme
small bunch of parsley, stalks and leaves, roughly chopped
2 large strips of orange peel
3 celery stalks, chopped (i omitted this)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
125g streaky bacon, chopped (i used pancetta)
2 onions, peeled and chopped
300ml hot beef stock
2 tbsp brandy
2 heaped tbsp black olives, stoned (i forgot to add these!)
two days before eating, place the beef in a bowl with the wine, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of thyme, the parsley, 1 strip orange peel and 1 celery stalk. cover and refrigerate overnight.
the next day, remove the beef from the fridge and pat dry with kitchen paper, discard the herbs and vegetables and strain the marinade over a bowl, reserving the liquid.
heat 2tablespoons of oil in a large flame-proof casserole dish and gently fry the bacon, onions, remaining garlic and celery stalks for 10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon.
add the remaining oil to the casserole and brown the beef in 2 batches. return the vegetables and bacon to the casserole with the marinade and the stock. season generously with salt and pepper and bring to the boil. add the brandy, 2 sprigs of thyme, 1 strip of orange peel and the olives. cover tightly and place in the oven, preheated to 140c, for 3 hours, stirring once. leave to cool then cover and refrigerate.
on the day of serving, scrape off surface fat and bring to room temperature. cover the casserole and reheat in the oven at 180c for about 45 minutes until piping hot, or reheat gently on the stove. serve with paperdelle ( this was my choice) or mashed potato with olive oil.