Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Traditional Beef Daube with Aligot Mash

Jared's best mate Jay has moved back to Australia after living in Bristol for 6 years.  He is staying with us until he can find a job, a home and get back on his feet.  It must be so surreal for him to be back in Adelaide after being away for so long, so I'm thoroughly enjoying feeding and pampering him and making him feel cosy.  So for his first Sunday night back I decided to cook something extra special.  I have made this dish once before but I remember getting rather intoxicated with my friend Frances while we made it and I never took photos.  I do remember it tasting amazing and Jared, who was sober - assures me that it was.  I was always so disappointed I didn't get to post it on the blog and Jay's arrival home was the perfect excuse to make it again!

I had my first fight with my new oven when I made this Beef Daube! I was so hungry and so eager to feed the boys that I put it on nice and early so we could eat at around 6pm.  After over 2 hours of slow cooking I took it out to have a look.  To my absolute horror the pot was barely warm.  I had set the oven on DEFROST rather than fan forced. I had to get the manual out before I could figure out what I had done wrong.  So in it went again, for another 3 hours...    By the time I served it I think the boys were very grateful.  They loved it.  Jay was very impressed and I was chuffed.  I didn't eat any of mine.  By the time I served it Laura had come over with a bottle of wine and I was more interested in that. 

The next night, Jared and I arrived home from work and we were starving.  I whacked my serve of Beef Daube in the microwave and we both sat eating out of the same bowl with two forks while swapping stories about our day's.  It was very romantic actually.

P.S. The Aligot Mash is amazing.  So French and creamy and moreish.  It really does compliment the dish and I'd very much recommend doing it!

1 each onion, carrot & celery, chopped
2 tsp quatre epices (see note) (a mix of pepper, cloves, nutmeg and ginger)
2 garlic cloves, bruised
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup (60ml) brandy
1.5L (6 cups) dry red wine
1kg lean braising beef, such as chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
1/4 cup (60ml) Olive Oil
60g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs plain flour
400ml beef stock
12 eschalots
2 tsp sugar
250g thickly sliced pancetta or speck, cut into strips
150g button mushrooms

Place chopped onion, carrot, celery, spice, garlic, bay leaves, brandy, wine and beef in a bowl. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Strain beef mixture, reserving marinade, beef and vegetable mixture separately. Bring the marinade to the boil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook for 5-6 minutes, skimming surface.

Heat half each of the oil and butter in a large flameproof casserole over medium-high heat. Brown beef in batches, then set aside. Add reserved vegetables and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute, then stir in the flour. Return the meat to the pan with marinade and stock. Bring to the boil, then cover and cook in the oven for at least 2.5 hours.

Meanwhile, place eschalots, sugar and enough water to cover in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 8-10 minutes until onions are tender. Set aside until needed.

Heat remaining butter and oil in a frypan over medium heat. Cook pancetta or speck, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until it starts to crisp, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add mushrooms to the pan, then cook for 2-3 minutes until softened. Set aside with pancetta.

Skim any fat from the surface of the beef pan. Strain, returning the liquid to the pan and setting beef and vegetables aside in a bowl. Return pan to medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes to reduce and thicken sauce. Return beef to the sauce with eschalots, pancetta and mushrooms. Simmer for 5 minutes to heat through.

Aligot Mash
80g unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1kg floury potatoes, peeled
1 cup (250ml) milk
200g gruyere cheese, grated

Melt butter with garlic in a pan over very low heat. Set aside. Cook potato in boiling salted water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain, return to pan and cover with a tea towel for 5 minutes to absorb steam. Pass through a potato ricer or mash with a masher, then add garlic butter, milk and cheese and beat with electric beaters or a whisk until smooth. Serve with the beef.



  1. Hey Elizabeth, this looks excellent. I love comforting dishes like this-hope Jay gets settled back in Adelaide soon!

  2. I have never heard of this recipe, but it looks fabulous and how could you go wrong with potatoes and cheese. This is some major comfort food... with a twist, as it is clearly spiced in an unusual (for me) way. But, it sounds and looks wonderful - so I will add it to my list.

  3. I don't even want to tell you how many times I've put food in the crockpot and forgot to TURN IT ON. Hate that! But how great that your meal still turned out so wonderfully!

  4. This was a fantastic meal. Those men are very lucky. I also love the pasta below. I really like your blog and will be back often. I'm your newest follower. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  5. Oh wow, this looks and sounds so delicious! I love it!

  6. Comfort food at it's best! Now, I'm hungry...



  7. I've never had a beef daube, but it looks wonderful!

  8. What a fabulous looking meal - very hearty.

  9. So interesting! I am no expert on Daube's but I made my first one recently too and it was very different, especially the spices as I used Herbes de Provence.

    New ovens take getting used to.