Wednesday, February 4, 2009

An Excuse to Use Slab Bacon: Beef Daube

Fact: Any recipe that starts by browning slab bacon is going to end well. It's science.

As far as I can tell, I've made seven meals, not sure how many recipes (I should really get a spreadsheet going), but still not a single dish with red meat. I had a feeling this might happen; I am a chicken man and have been for as long as I can remember. Well, after a sale at the store left me with 2 lbs. of boneless chuck roast, I decided it was time. Weather was cold, to say the least, and so I decided a stew of some sort was the way to go. Enter HTCE's Beef Daube, what Bittman says is a Provencal style stew.

So, you start by browning the chopped-up slab bacon (are there two more beautiful words in the English language?) until the fat is rendered and its pretty crispy. Then you remove it, trying not to munch it all up while it sits on the countertop. Brown the beef (cut into chunks) in the bacon fat. Then you remove the beef, set that aside as well, and throw in diced onions, carrots, celery, smashed garlic, rosemary, thyme, and orange peel. I didn't have celery because Fairway in Red Hook did me dirty, and I didn't have thyme, but this wasn't the end of the world; I just upped the carrot/onion and rosemary proportions a bit and carried on. So you sautee those veggies and aromatics (it's gonna smell really REALLY good) 'til they soften and then add a bit of red wine vinegar and a cup or so of red wine, bring it to a boil, put the beef back in, lower the heat and cover it.

Let that go for an hour or so, then throw the bacon back in. At this point, if its drying out, add a little chicken stock or just water. Give it another 15 or so or turn off the heat (it reheats really well) and finish it before serving.

Beef Daube turns out to be exactly what I was looking for. Served over some egg noodles, it was filling, soothing, warming, a delectable Sunday dinner. Time consuming, yes, but super easy. The hardest part was chopping up the veggies. I think my favorite part was that the flavors didn't exactly melt together; they went well, of course, but there was the distinct flavor of orange peel, rosemary, onion, bacon, each waiting to be picked out by the observant eater.

Chicken: who needs it?
blog comments powered by Disqus