"Daube" is just one of those words used to title braised foods (usually beef) to give them an international sounding panache. "Panache" is one of those words you can use when describing things that have that little-something-extra stylish flourish. (Remember what we called it when we added a little-something-extra to a glass of beer?)
You can skip the coursework at The Culinary Institute or even Le Cordon Bleu. Save your money and just commit several of these words to memory so you can use them generously, forgoing their more pedestrian counterparts.. There. Now you are classically trained. Why make "stew" when you can serve your family a hearty Beef Daube? You only have frozen chicken in freezer? Make chicken stew, um, no, call it Tagine instead. Gosh, did you chop up some young spring vegetables to throw in there? If so you can call it Printanier start calling around for your cookbook deal.
This skill is particularly handy if you are learning to bake desserts -- as I am. Did that chocolate cake turn out a tad unrisen and flat? Then, do what I do! Call it a gâteau chocolat or even better, slap on some almonds, mutter something to your guests at the table about Julia Child and present them with a Reine de Saba.
Isn't it fun being a chef?
This week's French Friday with Dorie recipe even calls for elbow macaroni! Yikes. This puts us dangerously close to Dinty Moore-land if you ask me. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that Dorie knows exactly what to do! Her instincts are unquestionable after all. Use of Daube will even make you forget that the main ingredient here is a part of the cow usually thrown out or sold to Swansons.
Now having said all this, no matter what you call delightful goulash, it is nothing like Mr. Moore's version. This one has panache. It calls for beef cheek which, if you are like the other Doristas, you will have a terrible time finding. That might just might be a good thing in this case as even a word like daube may not have enough super-powers to challenge the bias your family if they have an aversion to animal parts making their way into food. (Perhaps all those swanky French Bistros Dorie talks about are buying up the entire global beef cheek supply?)
Cheeks are tough and lean cuts of cow and are therefore really only edible if you braise them. Substituting a good chuck will still get you to heaven and yield the fat required to give up a very gelatinous sauce for this mélange.
But to my taste-buds, its not the cheek that gives this stufato, its panache, that je ne sais quoi, that makes it different from say, any other daube you might, um, go to. Its chocolate! The recipe calls for a scant 3/4 ounce of semisweet chocolate mixed in after the braising is over. This is not enough to register Nestle on your taste-buds but it is enough to offer up a slightly less polished, earthy note to the dish that isn't really seasoned with anything else aside from salt and pepper.
Stew on that.
email delivery of this blog or be a follower of it on Blogger. So, the ten of you who are reading this post in its email format are already signed up! With those kind of odds you will want to join them! Sign up for the email version of this blog by entering your email address in the box on the left sidebar or by clicking this link.
Retweet THIS TWEET to get yet another chance to win!
Beef Chuck Daube with Carrots and Elbow Macaroni
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table" (original recipe here.)
- 2 lbs. chuck, excess fat removed and patted dry with paper towels
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into thick rounds
- 1 cup pearl onions, peeled
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 strips bacon, cut crosswise into thin strips
- 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 cups Cabernet Sauvignon or other hearty red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
- 3/4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped.
- chopped parsley for garnish
Pour out the excess oil and liquids and add the remaining oil to the Dutch oven. When hot, add the carrots, onions (chopped and pearl), and the bacon. Stir frequently over medium heat until the vegetables are soft, about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir for about two minutes to cook the flour and absorb the liquids and coat the vegetables. It will also coat the bottom of the pan and this is just fine. Pour in the water to lift the flower and loosen any flavorful browned bits that are stuck on the bottom. Raise heat to cook out the water and then pour in the wine and the broth and stir. Return the beef to the pan along with any juices that have accumulated on the plate. Bring braising liquid to a boil for a minute or two before covering the Dutch oven tightly and placing into the oven for 2 hours or until fork tender. Do not disturb while cooking.
The daube can be made to this point and then cooled and refrigerated. This allows for the flavors to develop and blend. Either way, you will want to bring the daube back to medium heat and a gentle simmer before finishing it up. Cook the macaroni according to package instructions for al dente. Just short of done. Drain, and add to the daube, mixing in gently so as not to break up the lovely chunks of meat or mash the carrots. Gently stir in the chocolate and encourage it to melt and mix in evenly with more gentle movements with the wooden spoon. Serve in dishes sprinkled lightly with the parsley
"Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots and Elbow Macaroni" was this week's assignment for French Friday's with Dorie, a cooking group working its way through Dorie Greenspan's culinary tome "Around My French Table". Generally we are discouraged from including the recipes in our posts. Wherever there has been significant adaptation by me or where the recipe has already been publicly posted by Ms. Greenspan or her publishers I will either include it here or provide a direct link below the recipe title. Please also feel free to contact me via the link provided on my page if you need any assistance finding French Friday with Dorie Recipes.