“French Fridays with Dorie”; Recipe Sans Haiku
“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?
Beef Chuck Daube with Carrots and Elbow Macaroni
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.
And while you do, stew on this: I have been given a copy of Dorie Greenspan’s “Around My French Table” to give to one very lucky Sis Boom Blog reader as part of a larger giveaway promotion coming soon. So, stay tuned for details — but I can tell you this, to be eligible for this free copy you will need to be signed up for 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.
Contest extended to 1/3/2013! Contest is now closed. See this page for the winner announcement.
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“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.