Daube of beef provencale

Daube of beef provencale

Margaret Fulton Favourites
Tanya Zouev and Armelle Habib

This dish has been in my family for generations; in fact, since my sister Jean lived in France in the 1940s. She taught it to Suzanne, who included it in her first book on French cooking in the early 1970s, and we have been making it ever since, always remembering Jean’s words, ‘Don’t forget the orange rind.’

In those days beef cheek was hard to come by, but it’s perfect for making a dish like this and is becoming more and more available. Just keep pestering your butcher if you can’t get it and he’ll eventually oblige. Otherwise use chuck, gravy or shin, or even blade steak, which has a good flavour and becomes beautifully tender with the long cooking. This dish can be made the day before and chilled, which allows the fat to set on the top and be lifted away before reheating.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg lean beef, cut into large cubes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups red wine
bouquet garni
125g thick slices pancetta, cubed, (optional)
2 carrots, thickly sliced
2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup beef stock
1-2 strips orange rind
salt and freshly ground black pepper
freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish


  1. Place the beef in a large glass bowl with the garlic, half the olive oil, the wine and the bouquet garni and marinate in a cool place for at least 3 hours. Heat the remaining oil in a flameproof casserole dish and sauté the pancetta (if using) for about 3 minutes until the fat is transparent.
  2. Drain the beef, pouring the marinade into a saucepan. Boil rapidly until reduced by half. Meanwhile, add the beef to the pancetta and cook over a brisk heat until coloured. Add the onion and carrots to the casserole dish and cook for a further 5 minutes. When the marinade has reduced, add to the casserole dish with the bouquet garni. Add the tomatoes, stock and orange rind and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer gently for 2-2 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender.
  3. Spoon the meat into a deep serving dish. Remove the bouquet garni from the sauce and skim the excess fat. Pour the sauce over the meat and garnish with parsley. Serve with Creamy Mashed Potatoes.
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