I titled this post The Daube Dilemma because I couldn't muster up much excitement about having "a great beef stew" in my "cooking back pocket." My interest was piqued when I read the recipe called for an entire bottle of red wine, splash of Cognac, bacon, and whole head of garlic. Sounded a bit like Boeuf Bourguignon... which I do enjoy. But what's the difference between daube and bourguignon?
This could have easily turned into a comparison study, as with my French Fridays with Dorie French Onion Soup post, but I chose to keep it relatively simple. Since Dorie admits her Go To Beef Daube is not truly daube but bouef aux carottes, I consulted Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia's Daube de Boeuf, defined as casserole of beef with wine and vegetables - hot or cold, is made with lean stewing beef, carrots, onions, garlic, and herbs, all marinated in red or white wine and a splash of brandy for 3 hours. It is then layered in a covered casserole (called a daubière) with strips of bacon, mushrooms and tomatoes, and braised for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.
Julia's Boeuf Bourguignon, defined as beef stew in red wine, bacon, with bacon, onions, and mushrooms, and proclaimed to be certainly one of the most delicious beef dishes concocted by man, omits the marinating process. The braising liquid is more complex with a full-bodied young red wine, beef stock and tomato paste, although I did like the addition of Cognac to Dorie's daube. After the meat has braised for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, Julia adds sauteed mushrooms and pearl onions that have been braised in stock to the casserole. The stew is served on a platter surrounded with boiled potatoes, buttered noodles, or steamed rice, and garnished with parsley.
|Dorie's Go To Beef Daube|
Another dilemma arose when I realized I looked at the wrong daube recipe and bought the wrong ingredients. I shopped for My Go-To Beef Daube when I should have shopped for Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots and Elbow Macaroni. I could have switched gears without too much of a problem - because the correct recipe allows for substitution of the beef cheeks for beef chuck roast, but I would like to try beef cheeks in the future. So, I stayed with the Go-To Beef Daube which uses beef chuck roast, bacon, onions, shallots, garlic, carrots, parsnips, Cognac, a full bottle of fruity red wine, and herbs. I did prepare it the night before, but must say I preferred the taste and tenderness of the meat when it first came out of the oven on night one. I served it over mashed potatoes with a small side of green beans.
We enjoyed Dorie's daube, but I still prefer bourguignon. However, as with daube - where each region of France has its own version, there are more ways than one to arrive at a good boeuf bourguignon!
French Fridays with Dorie is an online cooking group, dedicated to Dorie Greenspan‘s Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours. As members of the group, we have purchased the cookbook and cook along as much as we can. There is a new recipe each week, and we post about that recipe on Friday. We are asked to refrain from posting the actual recipes on our blog. The book is filled with stunning photography, and personal stories about each recipe, which makes it that much more intriguing. I highly recommend adding it to your cookbook collection if you haven't already!