ffwD: My Go-To Beef Daube

Fork-tender beef...mmm...

I wasn’t planning on making this dish when I did, but I made the mistake of asking my sister what she wanted for dinner. She replied, “Meat,” and that her carnivore-loving girlfriend would also be joining us, if that was okay.

Now those who’ve read my blog before know that I don’t have much experience with cuts of beef other than ground beef. I was so worried about getting the right cut of beef for this recipe that I called my other sister (Chunklet’s mom) for help while searching through the meat section at the grocery store and had the butcher help me pick out a good chuck roast. I specifically asked for a “beef chuck roast”, and for some reason he asked me, “Oh, have you been watching America’s Test Kitchen?” I said I hadn’t, and he told me that a recent episode featured beef stew, prompting many a customer to come in asking for this particular cut. He was very helpful, showed me two very nice looking slabs of roast to choose from, and chopped it into pieces for me. If you haven’t already taken full advantage of your butcher’s services, I highly recommend you start!

The prep for this dish took longer and required a bit more babysitting than the recipe indicates. I carefully browned the beef in two batches, but it was going so quickly that I was behind on cutting the parsnips and preparing the bouquet garni. Thank goodness I used pre-cut carrots. I had to turn off the heat before putting the veggies in for their turn in the oil.

In my quest for the proper cut of beef, I remembered the Central Coast syrah but forgot the brandy. Instead, I substituted in Grand Marnier. It seemed to be a small amount and didn’t think the flavor would be upset too much. So, I went with it. I also adjusted the herbage by using only thyme, oregano and rosemary, while leaving out the celery leaves.

This dish turned out extremely well. I really enjoyed how tender and flavorful the meat was, and I even liked the parsnips, having never eaten one before now. I left the garlic in by request because the half bulb was so tender.

My sister and I ate the daube over white rice:

Over write rice...the Filipino way!

My sister’s girlfriend ate it plain right out of a mini-crock pot dish. (See top photo). I attempted to get a good picture of an individual portion but someone kept stealing bites between photos!

See how there are two carrots?


Mysteriously only one carrot remains


And see how the beef is shredded like someone kept fishing pieces out?

The recipe for this dish can be found in Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. And, to see other creations for this week’s ffwD, click on the LYL December 17, 2010!

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elaine
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 07:45:27

    I made it too this week and we loved it! That mini-crock pot is so cute. Great post!

  2. Trevor Sis Boom
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 09:20:08

    How did it go with the grand marnier? Did you taste it in the end? Since there are so many stew recipes that use a piece of orange peal I would have thought it would have turned out perfect! Good thinking!
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  3. stephirey
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 10:38:08

    Looks yummy! I had the same picture issues…kept getting eaten between shots! Too cute.

  4. Jessica of My Baking Heart
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 12:26:56

    Mmmm, it looks wonderful! Now I want leftovers!😉

  5. Jessica
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 13:04:20

    Did you have a lot of leftovers? This looks like beef stew and that usually has lots of leftovers. Also, I agree with your comment on butcher’s services. They have helped me pick out types of seafood for dinner and told me how to prepare it!

  6. Sarah
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 14:52:25

    This looks delicious. I can’t wait to try it. Thanks for all of the helppful hints!

  7. Cakelaw
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 15:46:24

    Mmmm … This looks so good. I want some again – in your lovely red bowls.

  8. Anne-Marie
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 16:05:23

    Best compliment ever when someone can’t keep from snitching!

  9. Flourchild
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 16:48:38

    Looks so good and so filling! I want some right now! My family really loved this recipe!!

  10. Cher
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 19:39:46

    Great color on the meat. I bet the Grand Marnier added a nice flavor twist. Sounds like you are going to be a beef pro in no time at all!

  11. Krissy
    Dec 17, 2010 @ 21:55:39

    I have trouble with someone around here stealing bites too. I like your butcher tips. And I like the rice idea. Thanks for the tips…and your daube looks wonderful! Isn’t it great to try new things?

  12. Kathy
    Dec 18, 2010 @ 09:50:03

    Your daube looks great and I love that you used the Grand Marnier in place of the brandy. I didn’t have any brandy in the house when I made mine and I also substituted with a Mistella. It turned out very well.

  13. Lana
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 02:02:46

    We have to nurture the relationship with our butchers! We buy all our meat (except for pork) at the local Persian store and the butchers there are very helpful, I will tip them occasionally, which assures me that they will go to the back and get the freshest meat for me. And I try to speak Spanish to them (they correct me, I learn – a free language lesson along with the service)
    I laughed when I read that somebody was stealing your daube! A couple of times my dishes, prepared with utmost care, ready to be photographed, simply disappeared!
    Well, I am looking forward to making the daube next week. And I’ll get some help in prep work!

  14. steph - stephsbitebybite
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 12:04:03

    I LOVE THOSE BOWLS!! This recipe has been one of my favorites so far. But I think I need to take some tips from your sister and try it with some rice.

  15. betsy
    Dec 19, 2010 @ 21:13:12

    This stew looks so yummy! What do you think of parsnips now that you’ve eaten them? I think parsnips have such an interesting flavor. I love to add them to soups and stews. They are also nice roasted! Enjoy!

    • yummychunklet
      Dec 19, 2010 @ 21:16:30

      After tasting them, I’m now officially a fan of parsnips! I understand that they can be mashed as well, so I’ll have to try that and roasting them! Thanks for the comment!

  16. Mia
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 10:04:13

    First of all its pull apart and oh so delicious!!
    and i loveee the cute little red pot!!
    Well seems like u did get the cut rite and i love how hearty it is , and am sure they loved it.
    Ha ha , lemme guess who was stealing the bites between photos and the carrot sure does look fantastic.

  17. Ker-Yng
    Dec 21, 2010 @ 20:40:43

    This looks good! I haven’t made them yet. When I do, I’ll probably eat them with white rice too!😉

  18. Teresa
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 18:03:57

    That looks so good. No wonder it kept disappearing. This will be made for my end of the year post and I think it will be smashing. I also think it would be great with almost any starch dish you could think of!

  19. Renee
    Dec 23, 2010 @ 15:38:15

    It was a winning recipe for sure. I agree- it took more babysitting than expected. But, it was worth it!!

  20. Serene
    Dec 24, 2010 @ 13:46:43

    I would totally be the culprit on the carrots if I were there. I LOVE cooked carrots! Your stew looks great. I skipped December on FFwD, but I plan to catch up soon. I look forward to this one, for sure.

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