So it is us indoors, I have been dreaming about boiled tongue, filet de boeuf au foie gras, pommes de terre au lard and other Perigord-esqe hibernation essentials.
So in our first period of rain-induced captivation, I prepared a deliciously rich, French stew named after the glazed earthenware container it is traditionally cooked in, the daubiere, a pot-bellied-pot with a handle for slow cooking meat which has a tightly closing lid, et voila, Daube de Boeuf à la Provençal.
Tonight I made this in my larger le Creusset casserole dish sealing it tightly with a sheet of grease-proof paper.
You will need, for two and some for lunch:
500g of chuck steak or stewing beef cut into small bite sized pieces
150g smoked pancetta or bacon/lardons
2 large carrots cut thickly
3 medium onions, one finely chopped, the other 2 roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced thickly
6 garlic cloves, sliced
5 black pepper corns, crushed
5 juniper berries, crushed
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
a handful of Nicoise olives(optional)
1 bouquet garnis, or a homemade one -a bunch of thyme, marjoram, a bay leaf, parsley, tied together
sliced rind and juice of 1 unwaxed orange
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tblsps olive oil for frying
250ml dry red wine
100ml aged red vine vinegar
In a large bowl add the beef pieces, the 2 roughly chopped onions, the carrots, celery, garlic, orange juice and rind, red wine vinegar, red wine and the black pepper, a large pinch of sea salt, the bouquet garni, the juniper berries and cloves. Mix well together, cover and marinade for at least 2 hours. This is the work done so if you can get this done in the morning, for an evening meal, it is easy after this.
Add the finely chopped onion and the lardons/pancetta to the empty pan and sautee for about 8 minutes. Add the marinade liquid and vegetables(remove the cinnmon stick) and the return the beef pieces to the pan.