A daube is both a ceramic-lidded dish and a wine-drenched beef or lamb stew and this recipe is one that I cook regularly here in winter. Mashed potatoes, with their creamy taste and texture, are simply the best side dish with the daube. Use plenty of butter when mashing and season well with salt. Indulgent this may be, but delicious it is.
- Cut the beef into jolly large pieces and layer in a large, deep casserole with the onion, carrot, garlic, bacon, olives and tomato, placing the orange rind and juice, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and bouquet garni in the middle layers. I am happy to have whole spices in my daube, but if you are not, tie them in a little piece of muslin cloth and discard after cooking and before eating.
- Pour the wine and beef stock over the ingredients, which should be just covered with the liquid. If not, add a little more beef stock. Cover and refrigerate at least overnight or for up to 24 hours.
- Heat the oven to 200C and sit the rack just below the centre.
- Remove the daube from the fridge and check again the level of the liquid. It must cover the ingredients, add more stock if required. Ensure the lid is on tightly.
- Place the daube into the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 140C and allow the daube to simmer away gently for 3-3 ½ hours. The meat should be soft and almost falling to pieces.
- Remove from the oven and carefully drain the cooking liquid into a saucepan. Keep the daube covered — it will keep warm. Boil the cooking liquid until reduced by half to one-third or until thick and syrupy. Pour back over the daube and serve. Classically a daube is served with a garnish of chopped parsley, grated lemon rind and minced fresh garlic, though I like grated orange rind, chopped black olives and parsley.