Daube of beef
( SERVES 4 )
Photo by From French Lessons by Justin North
Beef cheeks are available from good butchers. You can also use brisket, short ribs or oxtails for this daube, all of which have a wonderful gelatinous quality. Wagyu beef, although rather extravagant, gives an amazing depth of flavour.
- Put cheeks in a large bowl or plastic container. Cut vegetables to a rough mirepoix and scatter over the beef with the garlic cloves and herbs.
- Heat the red wine and port in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, lower the heat, and simmer until reduced by half. Allow to cool a little, then pour over beef and vegetables. (Make sure the marinade is still warm, which helps all the flavours penetrate the meat.) Leave to cool at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. Leave to marinate for 24 hours.
- When ready to cook, preheat oven to 110C. Tip beef and vegetables into a colander to drain, reserving the marinade.
- Set aside vegetables and herbs. Lightly dust the beef cheeks with flour, patting to remove excess. The flour helps to prevent the cheeks from burning when you brown them.
- Heat the oil in a large casserole or braising pan over a moderate heat. Season the beef cheeks and add them to the pan. Fry one at a time, until browned evenly all over. Drain on kitchen paper. Add the reserved vegetables to the pan and fry until browned all over. Add the marinade to the pan and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half.