SATURDAY COOKING: BEEF CHEEKS DAUBE

I know, we are a few days away from summer here in Australia (and it’s already hot hot hot), but some of you who read this blog live in the Northern hemisphere where temperature are getting cold cold cold.
I cooked this 2 weeks ago for French friends coming for dinner. Unfortunately, it was 37°C on the night, so I served salad and the daube ended up in the freezer!
It’s a delicious recipe that you will need to start a couple of days in advance.
It’s a combination of 2 recipes, one from Taste.com.au magazine (from Justine Schofield) and the other from Manu Feidel (braised beef cheeks) and my adaptation of it.
This recipe will serve 6.

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4 sprigs fresh continental parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
10 juniper berries, slightly crushed
6 whole cloves, slightly crushed
2 thick strips orange rind
1.5l (2 bottles) red wine  1 bottle is enough
250ml (1 cup) port
2 carrots, peeled, cut into batons
1 brown onion, quartered
1 celery stick, cut into batons
4 garlic cloves
6 (about 1.5kg) whole beef cheeks, trimmed
1 tbs plain flour
2 tbs olive oil
375ml (1 ½ cups) beef stock
250g speck, diced

Method:

    1. Make a bouquet garni: bundle parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf together. Use kitchen string to wrap around and tie to secure. Simmer wine and port in a saucepan over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until reduced slightly. Set aside to cool.
    2. Transfer wine mixture to a large glass bowl. Add bouquet garni, juniper berries, whole cloves, orange rind, carrot, onion, celery, garlic and beef. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge overnight to marinate.
    3. Remove beef from marinade, reserving liquid and vegetables. Pat beef dry. Dust with flour.
    4. Heat oil in a big flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook beef, in batches, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Season. Add vegetables and speck. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Add bouquet garni and reserved liquid. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface.
    5. Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan forced. Add stock to dish. Place a piece of baking paper over stew. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake 1 hour, then reduce oven temperature to 150°C/ 130°C  and bake for another 2- 3 hours or until beef is almost falling apart, turning meat halfway through cooking.
    6. Eat!

The longer you marinate, the better the flavours will be. I did it for 2 days, turning the meat in the bowl once. Make sure the meat is covered with the liquid.
If you are unable to find beef cheeks, any stewing beef, such as chuck steak, is a great substitute.
Justine’s recipe also adds shallots and mushrooms, cooked separately in a non-stick frying pan for 10 minutes, then served with the dish. I would add the mushrooms and the shallots in the casserole dish when I start baking the daube.
You can serve it with potato mash or carrot mash (like Manu does it), or steamed potatoes and asparagus.
It’s a very nice stew to eat in winter…

2 thoughts on “SATURDAY COOKING: BEEF CHEEKS DAUBE

  1. Having just bought a rather fancy of Shiraz 2009 from Flame Tree Wines, we are looking for something to serve with it. This might well do the trick in the cooler evenings of the South West. But there seems to be a lot of liquid in the recipe. I know you say the meat should be covered in the marinade, but surely there is a soup left after the cooking?!

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