JOANNA'S FOOD: family cooking, from scratch, every day

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Daube provencale

Today we were 11 for lunch. My oven's not working, so no question of a Sunday roast. Stew. This recipe is one I've used off and on for years, it's very easy and is full of complex flavours. The amounts here serve 4-6, but it's the sort of recipe that doubles up pretty easily, so I often use it for a crowd.

1kg braising beef - topside, shin, etc cut into thick slices (you can cook this in one piece, although obviously then it takes a couple of hours to cook, rather than an hour or so).
275ml red wine
3 tbs olive oil
2 crushed cloves of garlic
a branch of thyme (or a tsp dried herbes de provence)
100g bacon
1 onion, chopped
225g chopped tomatoes
a strip of orange peel
some anchovy fillets

Mix the wine, oil, garlic and herbs in a large bowl. Add the beef and marinade for at least a couple of hours, and up to two days. Soften the onion and bacon together in a casserole, add the beef & marinade. If you are very keen (and I'm mostly not) you could brown the beef slices before adding them to the dish; I'm more likely to do this if I'm cooking the beef in one piece). Add the tomatoes, anchovy and orange peel. Bring to the boil, and simmer on a low heat for an hour or so. OR put in a low oven (160C).

This is delicious with mashed potato. Today I served it with small new potatoes smothered in parsley; braised leeks; courgette and lemon salad; peas. Not very provencale, but easy and good.

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