What is daube de boeuf? That’s just a fancy name for beefy, stewy pot roast. A fancy French name for beefy, stewy pot roast. So what’s fancy French pot roast got to do with the picture above? I took that photo at the chateau where The Mistah and I stayed while we were in France. I can’t believe it’s been over two years since we were there.
Sadly, our hosts at the chateau didn’t serve us daube de boeuf. And we didn’t try it at any of the restaurants or bistros where we dined. To be honest, I didn’t make the acquaintance of daube de boeuf until last year. But it makes me think of the days we spent exploring Normandy….narrow, winding roads lined with bocage, traffic circles, ancient churches, and stately chateaus. It reminds me of cold September mornings and the heat of the afternoon sun. It sounds like hymns sung in French for the noon mass at Mont St Michele and feels like the water of the tidal flats lapping against my calves. And in my imaginary life, where we have a vacation home in Normandy, it’s exactly the kind of meal that I would fix for an informal weekend supper with friends.
At this imaginary dinner, we would eat and drink and be tres heureux (that’s very happy). Our table would overflow with laughter, so much so that it would spill out into the courtyard and be picked up on the evening breeze, destined to be scattered among the stars.
I may not have a French chateau. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make that imaginary dinner a reality.
Daube de Boeuf
Adapted from Elizabeth Bard, Lunch in Paris
- 4 pounds rump or chuck roast
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 shallots, whole
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 16 ounces whole tomatoes
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup beef broth
- 4 carrots, halved
- 8 ounces mushrooms
Heat your oven to 325 degrees, pat your roast dry with paper towels, and sprinkle it with kosher salt and black pepper. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a dutch oven large enough to hold the roast over medium high heat. Once the pot is hot, add the beef and brown it on both sides. If you had to cut your roast into several large pieces to get it to fit in the pot, work in batches and brown the meat on all sides.
Remove the meat once it is well browned. Add the shallots and chopped carrot and cook for approximately 10 minutes before returning the meat back to the pot.
Add the tomatoes and their juice, the wine, and broth to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to the oven for 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, turn the meat over and cook for an additional 90 minutes. At this point, add the mushrooms and the halves carrots and continue to cook another 30 to 40 minutes or until the meat is fork tender and the vegetables are cooked.