The River Cottage Australia Beef Daube
Serves 4 - Recipe provided by Paul West - The River Cottage Australia Cookbook
"A winter must! Beef daube epitomises everything that is awesome about the alchemy of slow cooking. You begin with cheap, tough cuts of meat and with a little help from a gentle heat, some aromatics and a lot of time they are transformed into small pieces of heaven. Save this one for a lazy winter weekend. Marinate the beef on Friday night and start cooking on Saturday morning, letting the steamy aromas fill the kitchen."
1kg chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
Salt and pepper
375ml (1/2 bottle) of your "pfavourite" Pfeiffer red wine
Oil for frying
200g air-cured bacon, such as pancetta, cut into batons
1 brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
250ml (1 cup) passata
250ml (1 cup) beef stock
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme
Knob of butter
Small bunch of flat-leafed parsley, finely chopped
Season the chuck steak generously with salt and pepper. Place the steak in a deep-sided, plastic container and pour over the red wine. Cover and refrigerate overnight, turning the meat as often as you like.
The next day, remove the steak from the red wine marinade and pat dry. Reserve the liquid for later in the recipe.
Place a casserole dish with a tight-fitting lid on the stove on a medium-high heat. Add a little oil to the dish and fry the beef in as many batches as required, making sure that it's never too tightly packed and that the meat is nicely browned all over. Place the beef to one side and then add the pancetta batons to the casserole dish, frying until they are coloured all over.
Next, add the diced onion and carrot and cook, stirring occassionally, until they soften and start to colour. Add the garlic and continue cooking until it has softened. Pour the reserved red wine marinade into the casserole dish and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any crusty bits. Simmer for a minute or two then add the beef, passata and beef stock, along with the bay leaf and thyme.
Place the lid on the casserole dish and simmer over a very low heat for 3 hours. You'll know that it's done when the beef is meltingly tender and the sauce is rich.
To finish, season with salt and pepper, gently stir a knob of butter through the sauce until it has emulsified and sprinkle the dish with finely chopped parsley.
You can serve this straight from the stovetop onto a bed of creamy mash potato or polenta. Serve with a glass of Pfeiffer Merlot. If you possess a will of iron, your daube will benefit from a night or two in the fridge to allow the flavours to mature.