Beef En Daube with Polenta, Glazed Shallots, and Cabernet Sauce

  • Active Time 1h 20m
  • Total Time 13h 50m

Serves 4

Here's a recipe that's perfect for those chilly early spring evenings, and it's also ideal for late fall or winter. Beef en daube is a classic French stew named for the covered casserole, the daubiere, in which it is prepared. Although the dish varies from region to region, it is usually made with meat and vegetables and slowly braised in a rich red wine and beef broth. Results are even better when braised a day in advance and the finished daube is refrigerated overnight allowing the flavors to marry. Alternative side dishes for the polenta are rice, egg noodles, mashed potatoes or kasha.


  • For Daube:
  • 2 pounds lean chuck steak, cut into 1-1/2 inch cubes
  • 2 onions diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • One 2-inch piece orange zest
  • 4 cloves
  • Pinch ground allspice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups Cabernet or Bordeaux wine (see wine suggestion)
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • For Glazed Shallots:
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12 large shallots, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • For Polenta:
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup polenta or coarse cornmeal
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley


FOR DAUBE: Combine the beef, onions, carrots, garlic, orange zest, cloves, allspice, bay leaf and red wine in a large nonreactive mixing bowl. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator. Drain the beef, reserving the wine, orange zest and bay leaf: remove the cloves and discard. Separate the beef from the vegetables. Pat the beef dry with paper towels.

Saute the bacon in a large Dutch oven or ovenproof casserole over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until all the fat is released. Remove the bacon, chop and set aside. Add the beef to the Dutch oven and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until browned on all sides (to avoid crowding the pan, you may need to do this in 2 or 3 batches). Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the onions, carrots and garlic to the Dutch oven and saute for about 5 minutes, until light golden brown (if necessary, add a little olive oil to prevent the vegetables from sticking). Add the sugar and toss lightly to coat the vegetables. Caramelize the vegetables over medium heat for about 4 minutes while stirring.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the beef stock and the reserved red wine to the vegetables, add the reserved orange zest and bay leaf and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula or spoon to incorporate any drippings. Return the beef and bacon to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring the daube to a simmer on top of the stove, cover and set in the middle of the oven. Cook for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until the beef is tender but not falling apart.

FOR GLAZED SHALLOTS: While the daube is cooking, prepare the glazed shallots. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan (preferably nonstick) and add the whole shallots. Cover the pan and saute over low heat, until softened, 15 to 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove the lid, add the sugar and salt, and toss lightly to coat the shallots. Caramelize the shallots over medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes while stirring. Turn down the heat, add the balsamic vinegar, and continue to cook while stirring until the vinegar evaporates. Keep warm, or reheat prior to serving.

FOR POLENTA: About 30 minutes before serving, prepare the polenta. In a heavy saucepan, bring the stock to a boil over high heat. Add the polenta in a steady but slow stream while whisking. Turn down the heat to low and continue to whisk for 25 minutes, or until the polenta thickens (thin with a little more stock or water if necessary). Stir in the cheese, butter, sour cream and pepper, and season with salt. Keep warm.

Remove the daube from the oven and adjust the seasonings. Remove and discard the orange zest and bay leaf. Spoon the polenta into warm shallow serving bowls and serve the daube next to the polenta. Place 3 glazed shallots on top of the daube on each plate and garnish with the chopped parsley.

HELPFUL TIP: Precut and trimmed carrots now available on the market are attractive in this dish. Use about 8 ounces (half a bag) rather than 3 whole carrots. Also, the beef can be loosely tied in cheesecloth before marinating to make it easier to separate from the vegetables at cooking time. If the broth is not as thick as you would like at the end of the cooking process, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon, place the Dutch oven on top of the stove and reduce over medium heat until the desired consistency is reached.

WINE SUGGESTION: A big-scale good-quality Cabernet from California or Australia, or a Bordeaux; use the same wine in the recipe.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.

RecID 1856

nutrition information per serving

1081 calories; 55g total fat; 197mg cholesterol; 1195mg sodium; 58g carbohydrates; 7g fiber; 67g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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