Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Baked Daube Provencal via The Dutch Oven Cookbook

     Certain recipes just ask to be made. It could be a combinations of flavors.  It could be an exotic ingredient. It could just be a favorite comfort food. Or it could be because it calls for an entire bottle of wine. Not a quarter cup, not even a cup. A whole freaking bottle of wine. That is what drew me to this recipe in The Dutch Oven Cookbook. This is a very rich French beef stew. The gravy is absolutely phenomenal. We served it with some mashed potatoes and rustic herb bread for a hearty and satisfying dinner. It takes a while to cook, but it is totally worth it. As always, changes and notes are in blue.

Baked Daube Provencal
via The Dutch Oven Cookbook
  • 2-1/2 to 3 pounds beef chuck roast 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, seasoned with salt and pepper, for coating
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 strips bacon, cut crosswise into 1" slices
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion, cut into crescent slices
  • 1 standard bottle of red wine (I suppose they're insinuating someone might use something non-standard, like a gallon bottle of Gallo or a big old box of Franzia. I used Barefoot Zinfandel, a dry red)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 bay leaves (Don't forget to take these out before you serve. My mom always swore somebody would choke to death on a bay leaf if you left it in.)
  • 2 strips of orange zest 
  • One 14.5 ounce can chopped tomatoes, drained (I used a can of stewed tomatoes and chopped them myself. I'm reckless that way.)
  1. Preheat oven to 325F
  2. Trim the fat from the beef and cut into 2" pieces (the roast, not the fat.) Put the seasoned flour in a medium sized bowl and coat the pieces of meat with the flour mixture.
  3. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a 5-1/2 quart Dutch oven. Brown the meat in two batches and remove to a platter, with the juices (seriously, no draining the roast.) 
  4. Add the bacon and onions to the Dutch oven and cook for 3-4 minutes. 
  5. Pour in the red wine and simmer for 5 minutes (use this time to scrape up the good stuff stuck to the bottom of the pot.)
  6. Add the tomato paste, bay leaves and orange zest. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the meat and juices back into the pot.
  8. Put a piece of buttered parchment paper directly on top of the meat (I have no idea what sorcery was at work with this step, but I did it anyway). Put the cover on and put the pot in the preheated oven. Bake for 90 minutes.
  9. Remove from the oven and discard the parchment paper. Add the chopped tomatoes and bake uncovered for an additional 30 minutes.

Good times!

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