Monday, November 29, 2010

French Friday with Dorie: My Go-To Beef Daube (Beef Stew)

My Daube

Food Fit for a Cold Winter Day
What a wonderfully diverting day I had in my kitchen!  I cooked “My Go-To Beef Daube”, a delicious beef stew which will hopefully balance out the coldest day of the year here in AZ.  It may actually freeze tonight, which concerns me greatly as we have many citrus trees and our garden is abounding with lovely vegetables and fresh herbs that most of the country grows during the summer months.  We have not had a freeze for the past 5 or 6 years, so I guess we are due.  But so early in the year...usually if it does not get this cold it waits until the end of December or into January.  As I write this afternoon the temperature is 54^.   I can remember many times enjoying a swim in the pool over the Thanksgiving weekend, but not this year.
A few cut up strips of Bacon frying until brown
Saute the beef in small batches until browned
The Cubed Beef

The browned beef added to the browned bacon
While the chunked up beef was browning in bacon fat and oil, I swept through my fridge and found many wonderful vegetables that begged to be added to this stew, which in Dorie’s recipe is mostly meat, carrots, perhaps parsnips, and onions with “a little herb bouquet to keep it company.”  My version is loaded with sweet potatoes, onions, mushrooms, carrots, leeks, shallots, potatoes, celery, scallions, the meats, and the herbs.  And since I had lots of left over parsley from Thanksgiving, I minced and sprinkled that over the stew for an extra measure of wonderful flavor

After removing the meat, mushrooms and leeks were sauteed in a little fat

Then Added Sweet and Russet Potatoes, Scallions, Celery, Carrots...and Decided to make 2 pots
Tomorrow is our neighborhood ladies’ Christmas dinner where I will remake the potatoes gratin as my assigned dish.  It will be a wonderful event to ring in the Christmas Season, and I will enjoy treating my friends to Dorie’s wonderful recipe.  Since I’ll be at my party, Hubby is planning his own event, a men’s dinner with six of his friends.  I thought I would make the stew for them to enjoy as part of their feast.  Tomorrow I’ll make dinner rolls for the men, and Hubby can figure out his own dessert...he actually makes terrific chocolate chips cookies, and he buys great frozen yogurt in a variety of the I think he will be OK.  (If I get ambitious, I will make the suggested spaetzle to accompany the stew as I have not made that in a few years.... it sounds good to me!)

Getting the Fresh Herbs Packet ready...Parsley, Rosemary, Oregano, and Thyme.  What a Lovely Bouquet!
Listening to Christmas music in the background, eating leftover Thanksgiving pie, and cooking the stew has been relaxing.  The smells, the colors, and the art of chopping all those ingredients has been a great way to unwind after a very busy weekend...all that eating and shopping and cooking and entertaining and baking...oh my!  And, it’s time for something besides turkey and trimmings; we’ve eaten it 5 or 6 times already over the past few days.

Ready for the Oven
We don’t use alcohol in our house.  Instead of the brandy and wine I added a good beef stock.  The color is rich and the aroma is fabulous, and all my veges looked quite happy simmering away in the pot...actually two large pots.  I had to make enough to have a taste myself,  I’m sure at least one  son-in-law is stopping by later, and when he smells what has been cooking, he will also consume a bowl, and I will need enough for Hubby and his men friends.  And, I was motivated  to use all those wonderful refrigerator items that won’t keep forever

Just Out of the Oven and Ready to Eat
It is still November and for me it is a time of year to be thankful for so much.  This stew was made from ingredients found in my house, no need for any shopping.  I am so blessed to have so much especially compared with most of the world.  My heart is full and ready to march forward with zeal into the Christmas season.  I enjoy reading all your posts.  You all make this Dorie experience fun...your enthusiasm and positive attitudes are catching!

Note:  A few days later...My neighborhood ladies' Christmas dinner party was wonderful!  There were 90something of us who attended.  Three of us made Potatoes Gratin as our assigned dish.  My Dorie version was devoured and people were looking for more...the gratin was a hit and was practically perfect if I can brag just a little!  Thanks, Dorie, for a great recipe that my family and friends enjoy.  (Hubby's party also consumed a large baking dish of these potatoes and they also loved them.)  We give this recipe a "Thumbs-Up!"


  1. I was touched by your story about Moldova. We definitely need to be thankful for what we have. Good luck to your daughter Elena.

  2. What a powerful story of thankfulness. Thank you for sharing...blessings to you for all you do. Stew next up on the list? It's stew weather here for sure!

  3. Oh, yum! I think I'll make this for next Friday!!!

  4. Man this looks good. I am making this this weekend.

  5. Boy, I want to come to your house for stew! Looks terrific. Your story about your girls is heart wrenching and uplifting all at the same time. Thank you for sharing and for all you've done to make 2 lives better!

  6. Sounds like you had a lovely day! Sometimes an afternoon in the kitchen is the only thing that makes me feel better.

    Your daube looks fantastic!

  7. I can't wait to make this. It looks like the perfect dish for a cold winter night. I like that you added sweet potatoes! Mmmm...I am so hungry right now.

  8. First of all, thank you for sharing your story about the girls.

    I am so glad you made the stew and posted the pictures. It is nice to have a reference point! It looks perfect for a cold, snowy almost winter day.

  9. wish i would've attempted more veggies as well. i need to get past wanting to follow the recipe as exactly as possible. i always think i'll be happier if i follow the recipe as closely as possible the first time i try it. more veggies would've been great!

  10. What great pictures! I really can't decide which dish to make next now.
    Trevor Sis. Boom.

  11. Lovely story! Your Beef Daube looks wonderful. I also made this dish and we really enjoyed it. Now to decide what to make for next week.

  12. Your Beef Daube looks delicious and I love all the additions you made! I'm really enjoying your stories, too. I'm glad that your dinner and your husband's both worked out so well.

  13. Looks hearty and fantastic. Your veggies have a wonderful color to them.

  14. Oh, Krissy, what a wonderful post! I tell my children all the time that we need to be thankful for everything we have, even though it is not much, because the majority of the world has so little. I cannot wait to make the daube - and yours look so good!
    We are having a cold spell in Southern California, but I know better than to complain (my sister in Frankfurt will gladly remind me how lucky we are, hee, hee).
    I am a bit envious about your garden - I had a great one, but lost it when we lost the house due to the foreclosure:(
    Have a great weekend!
    Lana (Bibberche)

  15. This looks fabulous...I can't wait to make it myself!

    Happy FFWD!