With new interest in Mediterranean cuisine in the eighties, American chefs started looking toward Provence, not Burgundy, for their French beef stews.
1 quart dry white wine
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pastis (or Pernod)
freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons herbes de Provence
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 juniper berries
3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 11/2-inch cubes
3 ounces dried cèpes (or porcini)
1/2 pound salt pork, cut into 1/4-inc1/2-thick slices that are 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2 medium yellow onions, coarsely chopped
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup pitted black olives, coarsely chopped
2 cups beef stock
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. In a large saucepan combine wine, olive oil, pastis, orange juice, herbes de Provence, pepper, juniper berries, and minced garlic. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat. Let cool to room temperature. When it's cool, pour the marinade over beef cubes in a large bowl. Stir meat well, cover, and refrigerate overnight. One hour before proceeding with recipe, strain beef and bring it to room temperature, reserving marinade.
2. Put dried mushrooms in a small bowl and pour 1 cup of very hot water over them. Let sit until softened, about 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms and coarsely chop. Strain the liquid through a double layer of cheesecloth and reserve.
3. Line the bottom of a large kettle with one third of the beef cubes. Sprinkle half the salt pork over the top, followed by one third of the carrots, one third of the celery, one third of the onions, and one third of the mushrooms. Pour half the tomatoes over the vegetables, followed by half the olives. Repeat this once, and then place remaining beef, carrots, celery, onions, and mushrooms on top.
4. Pour reserved marinade into kettle, and then the reserved mushroom liquid. Add just enough beef stock so that the daube is almost covered with liquid. Bring the mixture slowly to a boil, and then reduce the heat so that the liquid barely bubbles. Cook for about 4 hours, skimming fat off the surface every half hour, until the meat is extremely tender. (The liquid will reduce by about two thirds, and will have a nice, thick consistency.) Adjust seasoning, garnish with the chopped parsley, and serve.
With new interest in Mediterranean cuisine in the eighties, American chefs started looking toward Provence, not Burgundy, for their French beef stews. Happily, the stews of both regions are equally easy to make at home -- and equally scrumptious. Serves 6