Daube of beef

Serves 8 to 10

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 1.5 kg (3¼lb) blade or shin of beef, cut into 1½in chunks
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 100g (4oz) bacon lardons
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 250g (9oz) button mushrooms
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay-leaf
  • 1 bottle red wine
  • 750ml (1½pints) good beef stock
  • Salt and pepper
  • Splash of cognac (optional)
  • 1 baguette, cut into rounds, splashed with olive oil and toasted
  • Some Gruyère cheese (optional)


Once again a big casserole is essential.

Heat the oil and butter in it and brown the beef well.

Remove the meat from the pan and add the mirepoix of veg, garlic and bacon. Allow these to brown for 10 minutes, then put the beef back in.

Add the thyme, mushrooms and purée and stir well.

Add the bay-leaf, wine and stock and stir again.

Now put a lid on the stew and pop it in the oven at 325ºF/160ºC/Gas Mark 3 for about three hours.

Once the beef is falling apart and the sauce is thick, season, add a splash of cognac and place the toast on top. Grill for a few minutes – if you want, add some Gruyère cheese.