Daube of beef oyster blade

Daube of beef oyster blade

Real Food by Mike
Alan Benson

A ‘daube’ is actually the dish that this French stew is traditionally cooked in. It’s usually made from terracotta and has a lid to hold in the moisture. In this recipe I use a flameproof casserole dish, which can be ceramic, enamelware or the traditional terracotta. However, if you have none of these, an ovenproof, heavy-based stainless steel pot will work just fine. This recipe hails from Provence, so the herbs play a very important role in the stew. The other key ingredient, aside from highquality beef, is good wine. I believe a very full-bodied red is what you need, such as a cabernet or a bordeaux and, as always, if you’re serving wine you should be drinking the same one that you cooked with. This dish is best served with lovely creamy mashed potato.


Quantity Ingredient
4 beef cakes
salt flakes
100g plain flour
100g butter, plus extra for finishing
3 onions, chopped
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
3 savoury sprigs, leaves picked
200g button mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into sixths crossways
125ml intense red wine
1 handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  2. Season the beef cheeks with the salt flakes and some freshly ground black pepper. Dust the beef in the flour, shaking off any excess.
  3. Melt one-third of the butter in a large flameproof casserole dish, with a lid, over medium–high heat until sizzling. Brown the meat evenly in batches for about 5 minutes each side, adding the remaining butter between batches.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium–low and add the onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, savory, mushrooms, celery and carrot. Slowly sweat the vegetables until translucent, then add the red wine and simmer for 2 minutes. Return the beef cheeks to the pan, nestling them among the vegetables, then cover with baking paper and the lid. Transfer to the oven to slow-braise for 3 hours or until the beef cheeks are tender. Stir through the parsley and a generous knob of butter for richness, then serve.


  • Savory is a herb that looks like tarragon but it has a little spice in it, which gives things a nice kick. If you can’t find it, use tarragon or flat-leaf parsley.

Medicinal Benefit

  • So-called ‘secondary’ cuts of meat are usually taken from hardworking parts of the animal. They contain large amounts of collagen, which require long, slow cooking in order to break down into gelatine. Gelatine contains glycine (which can reduce inflammation associated with diseases like arthritis) and proline, another amino acid important for good immune function and warding off infection. Consumption of gelatine helps boost natural keratin levels, essential for healthy nails and hair. Minerals such as selenium, phosphorus and copper found in gelatine help maintain strong bones and increase bone density, to defend against osteoporosis.
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