I don't subscribe to the magazine but I pick up an occasional issue in the grocery store. In the Fall of 2007 I came home with the 20th Anniversary issue of the magazine, which has turned out to be a veritable treasure-trove and has earned a permanent place on my cookbook shelves. (I've previously posted the Creamed Corn with Bacon and Leeks and the Penne with Vodka Cream Sauce, both from this issue. Edit: also Pasta with Prosciutto and Parmesan and Halibut with Bacon and Mushrooms)
Another recipe in the issue that caught my eye was for Provencal Beef Daube, which was tagged as the "Best Beef Dish" in the magazine's history:
"It stands above all our other beef recipes because it offers the homey comfort and convenience of pot roast yet is versatile and sophisticated enough for entertaining."Given this endorsement, I just had to try the dish for dinner guests.
I cut my own cubes from a wonderful beef chuck roast that I ordered through my farm box people.
The roast was a tiny bit short of the specified 2 pounds, so I increased the carrots a little. As it turned out, the proportion was off - it really needed the full quantity of the meat and fewer carrots than I used.
I browned the beef in two batches (in a 3 qt dutch oven, so the meat would brown rather than steam. This was the first time I used my new Lodge enameled cast iron - love the way it cooks. After starting the stew on the stove top, it finishes with 2 1/2 hours in the oven.
Ready to do time in the oven.
I ladled the daube over buttered plain and spinach noodles. Although the recipe claims to yield 6 servings, we had just enough for 4 people.
We really enjoyed this recipe (aside from wishing that I'd make it with the proper proportions of beef and carrots). All the flavors has mellowed richly during their long slow time in the over. It's as good as my go-to beef stew recipe, and more company-ready. Because it bakes in the oven rather than simmers on the stovetop, it needs less attention, leaving me do other things to prepare for company. Although it is a Cooking Light recipe, it is substantial and hearty - perfect for warming up on a gray, chilly day.