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Beef Carrot Daube (page 2 of 2)

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Beef simmered for 4 hours with carrots, a real French classic rarely prepared properly. Here is how to do it.
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Place the cotton bag in the center of the dish and pour the wine over.

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Add enough broth so as to almost cover the meat.

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This dish will cook for nearly 4 hours. If the pot was leaking, much of the aromatic molecules we have taken so long to prepare would escape, leaving a lessened dish. We need to guarantee that as little as possible will escape. The traditional solution is to lute the pot. This is a magical moment. Just mix a little flour with just enough water to obtain a thick paste.

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Roll the past with your hands to as to obtain a long snake, and cover the edges of your pot with the dough. As it heats up, the dough will form an impenetrable seal that will trap the flavor in the pot. A hundred years ago cooks used large square copper pots called braisière with a tight fitting lid. These pots where placed in the fireplace and left to cook for half a day in the hot embers...

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... but with today's oven this is no longer necessary. Just place your luted pot into the oven and cook for 4 hours at 120C° (just above water's boiling point).

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That's it. Now the alchemist opens up his crucible to see how care and slow cooking transformed cheap beef cuts into a dish fit for a king.

We remove the sack and set it aside. Nobody will see that yet everybody will taste and smell the spices that were int the sack. (Take a peek inside).


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This dish is best served with potato purée, a very simple dish to make. Unless you are a character from Lost or live in a bunker, there is just no excuse for using dehydrated purée. Just wash waxy potatoes and boil them unpeeled in salter water until a knife can easily pierce them - about 30 minutes. Peel your potatoes (my fingertips prefer I do this under running water), crush them and mix with a little milk and butter.

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Braised dishes such as chili con carne, boeuf bourguignon or this delicious daube are often better when reheated the next day. The meat becomes even softer and gorges itself of the sauce's flavor. The home chef new to piggy trotters is in for a surprise when he opens the fridge the next day and discover his sauce totally jellyfied. But no alarm, after a few seconds of heating its takes back its liquid consistance. Here I let the sauce reduce a little, then thickened it with a beurre manié (butter mixed with a little flour) and a drop of cream.

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Most people in France in a home setting will want to make a little mound of potato purée in their plate and make a hole on the top to put the sauce inside like lake or little volcano.

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This is the top of French confort food. If you do this for yourself or happen to reheat some a couple days later, feel free to eat it with a spoon. No need to bother with forks or knives if you're alone. I ate this 4 nights in a row and it kept getting better every night!


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If you do this recipe at home please let me know how it worked for you by submitting a comment or send me a picture if you can. Thanks!


  • #1
  • Comment by Daniel
Wonderful post. The photos do justice to a great sounding dish. I cannot wait to try it this weekend.
  • #2
  • Comment by ariun
Magical! And your description is poetry.
  • #3
  • Answered by fx
This is one amazing dish that you reheat for days and it keeps getting better. You are in for a success if you try. Please consider that a dish of the same name is rather popular with dining halls at schools in France but unfortunately invariably very poorly executed. Good luck!
  • #4
  • Comment by ariana
Wonderful, as always. Am i the only one mising the quantities of the ingredients? I'm not that experienced as to make them out out of the amazing fotos.
  • #5
  • Answered by fx
Thank you Ariana, I have now updated the article with the quantities for each ingredient. You can use a pig trotter or a calf's foot indifferently. Let me know how it works!
  • #6
  • Comment by Ivan
WOW!This is a stunning presentation! While I may not cook this, I can appreciate the work it took to create and photograph, and I can savor what it must taste like.Thank you!
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
Thank you Ivan from Naples, I am glad my pictures helped you enjoy the dish on a zero-calorie basis!
  • #8
  • Comment by lindy
I have been making a similar (almost identical) daube for many years, but it never occurred to me to put the pig trotters in a cloth with the herbs- a giant bouquet garni!  Very clever. I intend to try it soon. Have you ever tried including a few inches of orange peel? That is the only ingredient where we differ- and I think it adds a nice touch.The trick with the trotters reminds me of a similar one I use making stock. I am sure others have thought of this before, but nobody else I knew did it. I make stock in a giant pasta pot with a strainer, and pull out all the bones, etc. with the strainer at the end. This is especially helpful with stock made with chicken carcasses or shrimp shells, which have lots of medium small bits. You still have to strain the liquid through a finer sieve if you want it to be refined, but it is much easier to control with the weight of all that stuff out.
  • #9
  • Answered by fx
Lindy your stocks sound heavenly! I will definitely try the orange peel next daube I make. The cheesecloth is a very neat trick that makes for a more elegant dish. It is unfortunate that the guests don't get to see what you put inside, so, unless some of them could be shocked by the pig trotter, you might want to display the cheesecloth and its contents for their inspection in the kitchen. Thanks for your visit!
  • #10
  • Comment by Oliver
Excellent recipe, documented in a drool-inducing mise-en-scène or rather mise-en-internet rarely found anywhere in this quality. (This is how cookbooks should be written - nothing can go wrong.) I had the pleasure of enjoying this daube a few hours ago and will again, tomorrow. I used Pancetta for lardons (the boiling is to reduce the salt content I am told) a bit of Lardo in the sack with the trotters and a little cheating roux at the end to give it that Grandma style sirupy consistentcy. Slow food heaven.
  • #11
  • Comment by Paul Beckwith
My dear FX,was checking the recipe for pigeon pastilla when I saw also the recipe for boeuf carottes. This reminded me of a beef daube I ate 25 years ago in the home of a wine merchant in Bordeaux; however I have been puzzled by the dish ever since and I think you are the person to answer my question. The daube was extraordinary, but it had some mystery ingredients. I am convinced that madame chef from Bordeaux used rhubard in the dish, along with another fruit as well, possibly orange. Do you think this might be possible.All the very best and congratulations on an inspiring site!
  • #12
  • Answered by fx
Oliver I am so glad the recipe worked for you! You can indeed reheat it several days in a row, and the roux is well in character with the dish!
  • #13
  • Answered by fx
Paul thanks for visiting my blog and for the cinammon! I am most flattered that my humble article brought back 25-year-old memories from Bordeaux. The most probable secret ingredient is orange rind, but you'll need to wash it carefully. Rhubarb - I don't know. In any case if you follow this recipe there is not much that can go wrong, and maybe you'll convert some vegetarian heathens back to the religion of meat-eating!
A most entertaining blog. Couple of notes that may help. "thyme twigs" would probably be better translated as "sprigs of thyme". Similarly your black crucible is more likely to be rendered as "cauldron" (an open-topped, round-bottomed cooking vessel with feet so it can sit in a fire, or possibly hung over a fire, often associated with witches). But you rightly refer to an alchemists vessel as a crucible.
  • #15
  • Answered by fx
Thanks a bunch for the spelling tips, my articles would indeed benefit from editing from such a well-read native speaker of English like yourself. I corrected both mistakes!
  • #16
  • Comment by fatcat55jc
For a meal half this quantity, how would you decrease the ingredients, please?
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
To make half the meal, you need to use half the quantity. It will also make half the calories - neat thing if you're on a diet.
  • #18
  • Comment by Beatrice
By now you are tired of my substitution ideas, but I think this was the dish I had one bitter January day in Alsace, after being snowed-in for 3 days.  We trooped carefully down to the local restaurant/bar, and the only dish they had was meltingly tender joue de porc (pig cheek) done in a daube with tons of fat sweet French carrots.  I've since discovered a market nearby that sells the meat, as well as the trotters!
  • #19
  • Answered by fx
Beatrice, I think joue de porc is just perfect for daube, actually somebody asked me about it yesterday. It is a seldom-used cut in French cuisine, surprising given the guanciale cult in Italy! Good luck with the trotters!
  • #20
  • Comment by Aaron
Thank you for the wonderful website.  I prepared this daube over the weekend, following your recipe fairly closely.  I did add a bit of roux, which I cooked slowly to a fairly dark brown.  I also added four or five quickly sauteed garlic cloves to the cloth sack.The daube cooked for about seven hours in an 8 qt. Staub pot, which I luted closed.I served the daube with mashed potatoes and roasted brussels sprouts, and accompanied it with an unassuming pinot noir, the same wine that I added to the daube.The result was magnificent.  There were five of us at the table, and everyone had two helpings.  I will definitely be preparing this daube again.Regards,AaronAllentown, Pennsylvania, USA
  • #21
  • Answered by fx
Aaron I'm astonished of your cooking the daube in Pensylvania better than most French home chefs ever do! Two servings per guest is definitely a test of success for any dish! Staub make great pots, I use Le Creuset but they are very similar. Congratulations!
  • #22
  • Comment by Brett
Wow. I can't stop reading. I stumbled upon this site and it is amazing. The subject matter, the way it is presented, the detail - did I mention the subject matter...Awesome job. PLEASE keep doing what you are doing. I will be watching from Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
  • #23
  • Answered by fx
Brett, thanks for your appreciation! I have many books about barbecue from the Southwest and some describe BBQ competition in Tennesse. I will try to pay hommage to this great tradition this summer on my Oklahoma Joe cooker!
What a fantastic website! I love the large, lush and really quite exquisite photos, they look good enough to eat! The recipes are truly fabulous. Intelligently written with sense and passion with a touch of humour. It inspires kitchen activity like no cook book or TV show has. Just fantastic. I have a circle of mates and relatives who I've sent this site to. We are all bound by two things, we are the fathers of daughters and we all love cooking!(and eating) I am fascinated by the the science of cooking and have been inspired by Australia's Geoff Jansz and his Aunt, Charmaine Solomon. Brilliant chefs and authors who I commend to you. I will one day soon with a buddy create a Sri Lankan Festive dish, Lumpry. It is one of the most astonishingly magnificent dishes I have ever had. It is certainly the most involved taking the two of us the best part of a weekend working flat out,to prepare and cook! Wish I had your camera set up! But Must do your calf foot and carrot stew first! phwoar! I shall keep a close eye on the site's evolution.
  • #25
  • Answered by fx
Simon, thank you so much for your kind words! If you cook with your daughter perhaps you should look into the Raspberry Moelleux, the Bubble-Gum Ice Cream or the Tangerine Sorbet, which all are very fun recipes that should work well for kids I think. Did this chap Geoff Jansz write any book? Couldn't find any on Amazon.com. Do you have a recipe for the Lumpry? Sounds like a very intriguing dish!
Cheers and hope to see you back on FXcuisine.
  • #26
  • Comment by Pastor Bentonit
Ay carumba! This looks even better, with the sweetness of the carrots balancing the bite of the red wine. I'll come up with an alternative solution to the dough-sealing of the pot. I have a good butcher's shop nearby, which will surely supply the pig's feet...

This blog feels like home, I'll be back often! Cheers,

  • #27
  • Answered by fx
Pastor, for the sealing you can use more dough or just a couple layer of foil or a wet towel. Good luck!
  • #28
  • Comment by Dean
Apart from the wine and garlic the dish has a lot in common with a variety of British dishes. In the northern part of the county where i live (Staffordshire) there is a dish eaten in the winter called Lobby. It is basically chunks of beef, carrots, potato and onion plus other vegetables (depending on different families recipes) stewed in water for a few hours. It hits the spot on a cold winters day. If you happen to look in to it also search for 'Staffordshire Oatcakes' which is another Staffordshire delicacy.
  • #29
  • Answered by fx
Dean, thanks for visiting and please let me know if you find an authentic, hard-core recipe foe Staffordshire Lobby.
  • #30
  • Comment by hi
this is a awesome recipe and it's very exact
  • #31
  • Comment by bob
What's the butter for?Just the potatoes? Sauteing the carrots?
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
Bob, yes, the butter serves to sauté the carrots but also you can emulsify it in the sauce at the end if you feel it is too lean!
  • #33
  • Comment by bob
OK, I made this, and it was pretty fantastic. I used the orange peel, and thickened it with a roux because I read that beurre manié can give an unpleasant taste of raw flour.

I may add some garlic next time. I couldn't find calf foot so I substituted oxtail - the only cheap, bony, cartilaginous thing I could find at my local butcher. It worked fine - the juice firmed into a solid gelatin when chilled.

So far from your site I have also made devil's chicken, priest stranglers (I loved it but the sauce was a bit to rich and porky for some of my California-cuisine damaged guests), pumpkin and strawberry risottos, and pasta with broccoli - all delicious. Next: falsomagro!
  • #34
  • Comment by namePer Klifforth
I have just read your fantastic recepie.
We are from denmark, and like those Daube food.
in the meantime when I cook my daube I found your resepie
and next time I will make it your way.

  • #35
  • Comment by Steve
Looks fabulous ... I plan to try, but do you have any idea how tough it will be to find trotters in Arizona?  We have no more butchers - just meat cutters!

Question:  what kind of stock do you use?  Beef stock, I presume?

  • FX's answer→ Steve, you could also use shin bones, marrow bones or a veal trotter if it comes any easier... You might want to look into a farmer's market or people who grow organic food, perhaps they know a real butcher. Anyway, if you can't find the trotter or bones you could still prepare a great beef daube, no worry.

  • #37
  • Comment by Steve
Further to my question of 6/6/09 ... I found fresh pig's trotters ... at WALMART!  God bless Sam Walton, RIP.  Can't wait to make it.

  • FX's answer→ Well that must have been a nice surprise!

  • #39
  • Comment by Martin
Hi fx, i decided to cook this dish for my mothers birthday. I have no experience with such dishes. So to make sure my present is not going to be flop, can you answer me these questions: there will be eight eaters: how will i have to adjust the quantities? The feast will be on a thursday: can I cook the daube on sunday an keep it in the fridge for five days (I also consider reheating the daube a couple times before thursday)? Thank you very much for your time, I honestly appreciate it, greetings, Martin-
  • FX's answer→ Martin, I would say that Daube can indeed be overcooked, so making it 5 days in advance is not a good idea. Much better to cook it the night before, then plan on reheating the leftovers for your own enjoyment AFTER the guests have come. Have fun!

  • #41
  • Comment by Nadine
Thank you! I would now go on this blog every day!
Thank you
  • FX's answer→ Thanks, unfortunately I don't update every day!

  • #43
  • Comment by BeachyGal
My friend's search for "daube" turned up this recipe so I will be making it next week for his birthday dinner. Curious, you don't use herbs de provence as such in your bouquet. I am thinking of doing so along with the orange peel. Have you any experience with or advice on this modification?
Thanks much!
  • FX's answer→ Kathy, the orange peel is a great idea, the herbes de Provence not so much. The overwhelming majority of "Herbes de Provence" sold in Provence, especially in open air markets but not only, is crap imported from Albania mixed with grit, dust and grass. A hallmark of undistinguished cooking, alas. Much better to make your bouquet garni with whichever nice, fresh, locally grown herbs you can find.

Well, this recipe seems stunning!  I'm not a chef by any stretch of the imagination - just an enthusiastic home cook.

Sadly there's only two of us in the household, but I'm waiting with anticipation for my daughter, son-in-law and grand-daughter to visit from Australia in a few months.  I'll sure be trying it.

My only problem is the calf trotters.  I can get beef bones easily so they'll have to be a substitute.

I love the care and attention you give to your photography (it's been mentioned in other comments for the recipes I've read so far)

Thank you so much - I'm sure with a bit of practice your recipes will raise my skills by another degree!

Kind regards,
Greg (from New Zealand)
  • #46
  • Comment by Edwas
 ¡Increíble! No está claro para mí, ¿cómo offen que la actualización de su nombre de fxcuisine.com.

Wow - Saintonge-style beef - I must try this! :)
THIS is on the menu for next Sunday night! It looks wonderful!
  • FX's answer→ Susan I hope this worked for you.

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