Boeuf en Daube, The secret of Boeuf en Daube (bEEf on dohb)

an excellent French stew, lies in the marinade and long, slow cooking.

16 fl. oz. red or dry white wine

6 tablespoons Cognac

2 tablespoons olive oil

6 carrots, scraped and sliced

2 onions, sliced

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon dried sage

3 lb. stewing steak, trimmed of fat and cut into

2-inch cubes

3 oz. flour

8 slices bacon, halved

1 lb. tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped

12 oz. mushrooms, sliced

12 fl. oz. beef stock

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the marinade thoroughly. Add the meat to the marinade and stir well to ensure that all the beef cubes are coated with the marinade.

Beef, corn, tomatoes and white wine combine to make Boeuf Daniell, a delicious and unusual stew.

Cover the bowl with aluminium foil and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

Drain the marinade through a sieve placed over a large bowl. Reserve the liquid. Transfer the meat to a plate and set aside. Place the marinated vegetables in a small bowl.

Place the flour in a paper bag and put the drained beef cubes in it. Holding the top of the bag tightly closed, shake the bag vigorously. This will coat the beef evenly with the flour. Empty the contents of the bag into a sieve and shake the sieve to dislodge the excess flour. Place the sieve and beef to one side.

To blanch the bacon, fill a medium-sized saucepan with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Add the bacon slices to the pan and boil them for 5 minutes. Drain the bacon and pat the slices dry with kitchen paper towels.

Line a large flameproof casserole with a quarter of the bacon. Cover this with a quarter of the vegetables. Top with a layer of beef and then a layer of tomatoes and mushrooms. Continue making layers until all the ingredients have been added, ending with tomatoes and a final layer of bacon.

Pour over the beef stock and enough marinade to almost cover the contents of the casserole. Cover the casserole tightly and place it on top of the stove. Bring the liquid to the boil over moderate heat.

Place the casserole in the oven, reduce the temperature to cool, 300°F (Gas Mark 2, 150°C). Cook for 4 hours.

Remove the casserole from the oven and serve the daube immediately.

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