Friday, December 10, 2010

FFWD: My Go-To Beef Daube


A snowy night calls for comfort food. Which is exactly what this is: the perfect winter meal. The weather couldn't have been more perfect for this dish. It snowed the entire day and I spent it chopping, browning and braising. Absolute heaven. This meal surprised me. I wasn't prepared for the depth of flavor to be had from a chunk of beef, some root vegetables, a bottle of red wine, and.... Grand Marnier? 



 

Yeah, so I got a little creative with the original recipe, which calls for a quarter of a cup of brandy. I didn't have any and wasn't sure I wanted to make a special trip for that amount. I was just going to de-glaze the pan with some of the wine. But then I thought to myself: I have this liqueur in my cupboard. Orange goes with beef. Orange goes with carrots. Well, alright, then. Let's live dangerously. I poured in the Grand Marnier..... and it worked. I mean, it really, really worked. That smell was incredible.


This was my first time working with a large chunk of beef. Dorie calls for a 3 1/2 lb. chuck roast, cut into 2" pieces. I've cut up some meat in my day, but that was the largest slab of protein I've ever had in my kitchen. I found some for a great price, so I grabbed it and decided I would take the extra time to negotiate around the connective tissues. It took some time, but I was very satisfied with the feeling of breaking down a substantial quantity of beef and making it do what I wanted it to do. I'd like to learn how to actually butcher meat. That's a secret a lot of people don't know about me. Just thought I'd share that with you.

 
Other than the Grand Marnier experiment, I followed the recipe exactly as written and I loved it. I'm usually the vegetable lover in the house and will usually throw all manner of greens into a beef stew. But the beef deserves the limelight this time. Something magical happens when it cooks with wine and herbs and carrots (and parsnips- they're delicious!). Everything becomes homogenous in the most beautiful way possible. The flavors mingle. Characteristics are exchanged. Lives are changed. Mine certainly was. 

 

I can't imagine anything more French, or more delicious, than this meal. Bon Appetit! Don't forget to stop by French Fridays with Dorie to see what else is cooking this week.

15 comments:

  1. Looks like I need to go get me some Grand Marnier

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  2. I just made a different beef stew, but I should have held out for this one! I love parsnips too ... we didn't grow up on them but I look for ways to use them now. Beautiful stew! We're just having cold weather here...and when it's this cold it should snow. It really should!

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  3. Grand Marnier?! Oh, yeah! :) I bet that was a great addition. Your stew looks so hearty and I bet was perfect on a cold, snowy day.

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  4. YUM. And I'd like to learn how to butcher, too! I just feel like I'd understand everything about the different cuts of meat so much better if I'd done it all myself. The stew looks beautiful - perfect for this time of year!

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  5. I keep looking around town for a class on butchering meat as I really want to learn that too! There really seems to be interest there. This looks great and you get extra points for Grand Marnier! I see no reason why that wouldn't be fantastic!

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  6. Beautiful photos and a brave and fantastic addition with Grand Marnier.

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  7. Great post! You described the daube perfectly - I loved this one, too! :)

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  8. Fabulous post! And I love the name of your blog! Do you sing too?

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  9. mmm your photos are lovely. I love the crusty baguette in the last one. :)

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  10. I think one of the worst things you can do is go foodie blog hopping when you're hungry. Kind of like going to the grocery store hungry. Never a good thing. Your beef daube has me drooling all over the place and the addition of the Grand Marnier is brilliant! Love this and can't wait to try it!

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  11. Your daube looks so delicious! I love the grand marnier idea. It's always best to improvise when needed!

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  12. It looks so good! I loved this recipe, it was one of the first things I tried when I got Dories cookbook!

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  13. sounds and look fabulous, i actually made beef stew tonight with lots of orange zest and cloves. the beef loved the orange, grand manier would have put it over the top...

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  14. What great photos! Makes me hungry to make this again.

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