Beef daube

Beef daube

Best Kitchen Basics
Petrina Tinslay

There is this thing that happens in English, where brands are so commonplace they become a common noun or verb: bandaid, yoyo, hoover, granola are some examples. So it is with cooking and the French, where the cooking vessel becomes the name of the dish – casserole, poêle and, as in this case, daube, which is a terracotta cooking vessel from Provence.


Quantity Ingredient
1kg beef shin
100g plain flour
100ml olive oil
200g pancetta or lardon, cut into 8 pieces
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
12 small onions, outer layer of skin removed
1 bottle shiraz
1 litre chicken stock
3 fresh bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 bunch thyme
1 vanilla bean
2 allspice berries
2 cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 garlic bulb
1 orange, zested
2 teaspoons cornflour


  1. Cut the beef shin into eight large pieces and dust them in the flour.
  2. In a large, deep, heavy-based frying pan over medium heat, brown the beef on all sides in the olive oil. Drain and transfer the meat to a large ovenproof casserole.
  3. Brown the pancetta in the same frying pan. Add it to the casserole, reserving the fat in the frying pan.
  4. Brown the carrot in the frying pan then add it to the casserole.
  5. Brown the onions in the frying pan and add them to the casserole, along with the remaining pancetta fat.
  6. Pour the bottle of wine into the frying pan and cook over high heat until it has reduced to a syrup. Add the stock, bring to the boil and then add the contents of the pan to the casserole.
  7. Preheat the oven to 120°C.
  8. Tie the bay leaves, cinnamon, thyme and vanilla bean into a tight bundle using butcher’s string then add it to the casserole with the remaining spices, garlic bulb and orange zest. Put the lid on the casserole and cook in the oven for 4–5 hours until the beef is gelatinous and just starting to fall apart.
  9. Whisk the cornflour with 1 tablespoon cold water to make a slurry. Stir the slurry into the casserole over low heat until it thickens. Serve the daube in the casserole at the table.
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