As we head in the winter here in Upstate New York I get the urge to entertain.
Sometimes fancy, with whole white tablecloth senario, sometimes not.
Often, keeping the menu and setting simple encourages me to send out invites on the spur of the monment.
A quick text or phone call to a few couples, see what their weekends are shaping up to.
Having a few easy dinner party meals in your reportiore is key.
You know those dishes that are always good, that don’t need constant attention.
This Beef Daube is a perfect example of that. Not expensive or difficult to make, you can do this.
I don’t put out alot of appetizers, who wants to fill up their guests before you sit down to the main event?
Just pour them a drink, have a few nuts or olives at the ready. That’s enough.
The Daube is sitting pretty in the oven waiting for you, have a salad already assembled resting in the fridge.
All that is left is to warm up some good crusty bread. Yep warm it up, much better.
It takes 5 mins in a 400 degree oven, any store bought baugette works.
I like to serve the Daube first with bread, then the salad, then cheeses and finally dessert.
So this next weekend ring up some friends, get out that big old cast iron pot and get cooking……..
- 1 3 lb boneless beef chuck roast
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 slices thick cut bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 8-10 shallots, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. brandy
- 2 Tbs. tomato paste
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp. herbes de Provence
- 2 cups hearty red wine, such as Cotes du Rhone
- 1 14.5 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 4 strips orange zest, 2½ inches long using vegetable peeler
- 2 strips lemon zest
- 2 cups carrots, cut into large 2 inch chunks
- ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
- Using your fingers and a thin knife, pull the roast apart along its natural seams.
- Trim off any thick layers of fat and discard.
- Carve the roast into approx. 2 inch pieces.
- Position a rack in the lower third of your oven. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat oil and add bacon, cooking until browned but not crisp, about 5-6 mins.
- Remove to plate and reserve.
- Season about one-third of the meat at a time with salt and pepper and add to pot. Arrange the cubes in a sparse single layer in pot to brown. Adjust the heat so the beef sizzles and browns but does not burn.
- Cook until all sides are a rich brown, transfer to large plate and continue until all pieces are browned.
- Now with pot over medium heat, add the shallots, season with a pinch of salt and several grinds of pepper, and saute until they begin to soften, about 2 mins.
- Add the brandy and let it boil away. Add the tomato paste, garlic and herbes de Provence, stirring to incorporate, and saute for another minute.
- Add the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to dislodge any drippings and bring to boil.
- Pour in the liquid from the tomatoes, holding back the tomatoes with your hand.
- Then one by one, crush the tomatoes with your hands into the pot.
- Add the orange and lemon zest, and return the beef and any accumulated juices to pot.
- Finally add the carrots, bring to a simmer, cover and slide into preheated oven.
- Cook the stew, stirring every 45 minutes, until the meat is fork tender 2 to 2½ hours.
- When finished sprinkle with parsley and serve.