I love my fresh organic fruits and veggies and of course I love dessert, especially chocolate dessert. Actually anything chocolate is great with me.
But what I really love is a good hearty beef dish. Mmmmm (I can’t think of anything more brilliant than just Mmmmm). Serve me a slow cooked beef dish of any kind during any season and I’m one happy gal. Add some creamy polenta with that beef stew and I’ll be your best friend forever.
Beef Daube is one of those wildly delicious French stew recipes that vary from recipe to recipe. I’ve found Daube recipes to include orange peel, cinnamon sticks, cloves, olives, herbs de Provence and juniper berries. I think I’ve prepared them all and I have to say, the simpler the better.
This recipe is simple in ingredients but beautifully complex in flavors. I’ve adapted this recipe from many recipes and filled the exquisitely delicious stew with fresh herbs, aromatics and a few juniper berries for a clean subtle citrus flavor to the stew.
Here’s the best part… serve the stew over creamy polenta! The rich stew sauce gets soaked up by the creamy polenta and it melts in your mouth like butter.
3-4lbs boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 2 inch cubes
Salt and fresh cracked black pepper
All purpose flour
2-3 tablespoons safflower or sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 medium carrots, thick sliced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
10 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter mixed with 2 tablespoons flour
2 cups dry red wine (I like to use a Cabernet but any dry red will do) For a substitution: use 2 cups unsweetened red grape juice or unsweetened cranberry juice and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
6 Juniper berries
This stew can be prepared in a slow cooker or Dutch oven. I wrote the recipe directions for the Dutch oven, but feel free to prepare all the steps of the stew and then put everything in the slow cooker on low for 7 hours or on high for 4-5 hours.
Pre-heat the oven to 300F.
Put the beef cubes in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle about ¼ cup all-purpose flour over the beef cubes and toss to coat each piece of beef.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat and add a little safflower or sunflower oil. Brown the pieces of beef and then transfer to a dish. You will need to do this in several batches. Don’t overcrowd the pot or the meat won’t brown.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, carrots and celery to the pot, sauté until wilted. Then add in the garlic and let it sauté for a minute longer.
Mix in the butter/flour paste and let it cook for a minute.
Stir in the red wine.
Once the red wine, butter paste and veggies are nicely incorporated, stir in the beef broth, tomato paste, sprig of rosemary, sprig of thyme, sage leaves, bay leaves and juniper berries.
Add the beef cubes and any liquid from the dish back into the Dutch oven. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover with a lid and place the Dutch oven in a pre-heated oven. (At this point you can transfer the stew to a slow cooker if using)
Bake at 300F for about 2 hours. After 2 hours, take the lid off the Dutch oven and continue baking uncovered for another 30 minutes. This will let some of the liquid evaporate and thicken the sauce. The meat should be fork tender when done.
Discard the herbs and serve the stew over creamy polenta, egg noodles or brown rice. Enjoy!