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Daube--Cook-Off 27


Chris Amirault
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A daube can be made with just about any meat or game. I think the big differences are thickening agents and the liquid, daubes involve wine, and traditionally used gelatinous thickeners like couenne or veal feet, whereas a ragout is just a general word for a stew that uses stock of even water, and are often thickened with flour.

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Where is the line drawn between ragout and daube?

Is one a superset or subset of the other?

I wish some real French experts would reply...

A ragout to me although a stew, is more of a thick sauce, often with the meat minced or finely chopped and strongly seasoned. For example a Bolognaise sauce is a ragout. An old term, derived from old French "ragouster", meaning to revive the appetite, in turn from the Latin for taste.

I also thought ragouts were stews and therefore believed a daube to be a type of stew, though I don't know enough to say whether or not the latter is a subset falling under the general rubric of "ragout."**

A Bolognese is a ragu :wink: --but NOT a real ragu according to some purists who insist on calling it a "sugo" (sauce) or simply a "bolognese" to distinguish it from a ragu, especially an expert from Naples who is a member of eGullet. Here's a fascinating, and at points, passionate thread in which the process of making a Neapolitan ragu is documented. You'll see the featured ingredient of this long-cooked dish is, in fact, a large piece of meat, served separately from what is used to sauce pasta. Here's Adam Balic's photographed documentation; the heated discussion begins earlier (around post 41?) and includes references to the French word "ragout."

**ETA: Elizabeth David distinguishes ragouts from daubes in French Provincial Cooking, at least by treating them as separate categories. (Penguin ed., p. 94.) Is it the wine marinade? She includes a brief note on La Daube Viennoise, crediting Paul-Louis Couchon as the author of a French description she translates. He recalls an Easter dish in which the family pours wine, spirits and spices on beef and chickens. Now (ca. 1956), he says a veal rump is served with tail and kidneys on a bed of leeks (p. 452).

Edited by Pontormo (log)

"Viciousness in the kitchen.

The potatoes hiss." --Sylvia Plath

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I always thought daube cooking is a method not a recipe.

Usually marinated meat and vegetables are packed tightly into a container, preferably earthenware, so that everything is completely wine-soaked during long slow cooking. The Provencal daubiere is ideal with its belly shape and its narrow neck which is fitted with a top that is deeply scooped-out and filled with cold water to insure a constant recycling of condensation during cooking on top of the stove or in the fireplace. If you cook your daube in the oven, you can use a sheet of crumbled parchment paper atop of the meat to insure recycling of moisture.

Abra, rather than use your tagine, I would suggest a bean pot, a narrowish and tall casserole such as the Columbian black chamba pot, a dutch oven, or a four quart Chinese sand pot (www.gourmetsleuth.com) to keep the heat steady and low.

In Provence, daubes are made with red or white wine marinated beef cheeks, shanks or shoulder, lamb shoulder or shanks, pork or wild boar shoulder, often teamed with olives, capers and anchovies, carrots or mushrooms, then served with pasta, rice or gnocchi. Tuna tummy and octopus are also cooked in daubes.

In the French south-west, daubes are made with duck gizzards, onions, mushrooms, goose with radishes or turnips, or mixed parts of beef (cheek, shank and shoulder) with baby onions and prunes, or with Bayonne ham and piment d'espelette.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Daubes benefit from an advance preparation.

Jim Ainsworth writing in the London Observer (04/27/1997) describes chef Jean-Christophe Novelli's Five-day beef daube: the first day he seasons the meat; the following two days the meat is placed in a cooked red wine marinade; on day four he strains out the vegetables and cooks the meat in the remaining liquid marinade; and on day five he degreases the dish and reheats it for service.

Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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Much talk, no recipies other than Paula's. I've also noticed that there doesn't seem to be a recipe for Lamb Shanks in Recipe Gullet. I was going to post there, but it seems I can only put up one picture so I'm going to do it here & then on my blog.

This is a recipe for braised Lamb Shanks. According to everything I've read it really is a daube by definition. No matter, I don't want to get into the semantics.

I'm also not going to get into what kind of pot to cook it in or whether oven or stovetop is better. Suffice it to say that if the dish is slowly & carefully cooked with love & respect it is going to be delicious. The rest is nuance.

Here goes:

Ingredients: (to serve two people.)

2 Lamb Shanks

2-3 yellow onions

3-4 carrots

2-3 stalk of celery

5-8 cloves of garlic

Lots of fresh rosemary

Lots of fresh thyme.

A few bay leaves

Hearty red wine

Good lamb stock

Salt & pepper.

gallery_22910_3865_22178.jpg

The Lamb Shanks. Choose nice meaty ones & do NOT trim.

Method:

1) Put a small amount of fat into your pot. (duck is best, but others will do) Heat this up & then put the shanks in and brown turning frequently.

2) Meanwhile be chopping up the Onion, carrot, celery mixtrue. (How finely you chop depends upon how you plan to finish the dish. More on this later. The pictures show a rough chop suitable for a more 'stewlike' version.

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The roughly chopped mirapoix.

3) Peel & roughly chop the garlic

4) When the shanks are nicely browned remove them from the pot & set aside. Put the vegetable mixture along with the garlic & bay leaves into the pot, turn down the heat to low, cover the pot & sweat the mixture for at least 20 minutes.

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Lamb Shanks browning.

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Veggies sweating.

5) Rub your rosemany & thyme as you strip the leaves from the stalks.

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Not really necessary as you know what herbs look like, but I like the picture.

6) Put the lamb shanks back into the pot. Add the herbs. Add the wine & stock to just cover. (I like to use about 50% wine, 50% stock. Give everything a light seasoning.

7) Bring to the boil then back down to a simmer. Cover & simmer slowly for at least 3 hours. Check & stir occasionally.

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Start of cooking.

8) At the end of this first cooking take the shanks out & put them in the fridge separately from the vegatables & sauce.

9) Next day bring everything back up to room temperature having skimmed off any fat from the sauce. (there normaly won't be much if any.)

Now its decision time. How to finish the dish as there are lots of variations.

A) my favorite 'classic' version. for this one I would have chopped the veggies much more finely. I would now add some crushed juniper berries and about 3 oz of tomato puree. Everything back into the pot for at least 2 hours covered. Shanks out. Veggies & stock through a strainer or food mill then back into the pot for a final reduction. Add some butter just before serving to give a nice finish. Serve over potatoes, rice or other root vegetables.

B) An Italian, "ossa bucco" slant. AS in A, but no juniper. Add oregano & fennel seeds, the tomato puree & a can of italian plum tomatoes. Cook as before except stir more often to crush the plum tomatoes. Serve over pasta, polenta or rice.

C) The 'stew' version. This is the one I've shown with roughly chopped veggies. I now for the second cooking add green lentils (about 4 oz per person) or white beans which have been soaked & pre-cooked. Everything together & cook for closer to 3 hours than 2. Serve as is.

gallery_22910_3865_14971.jpg

Lamb shank 'stew or Daube de jarret d'agneau.

Enjoy. This is both easy & delicious.

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Daubes benefit from an advance preparation.

Jim Ainsworth writing in the London Observer (04/27/1997) describes chef Jean-Christophe Novelli's Five-day beef daube: the first day he seasons the meat; the following two days the meat is placed in a cooked red wine marinade; on day four he strains out the vegetables and cooks the meat in the remaining liquid marinade; and on day five he degreases the dish and reheats it for service.

If I could get some idea of a recipe for this I'll make it and document it with photos provided I'm not required to purchase special equipment. I adore recipes that include beef, wine and time. :smile:

Shelley: Would you like some pie?

Gordon: MASSIVE, MASSIVE QUANTITIES AND A GLASS OF WATER, SWEETHEART. MY SOCKS ARE ON FIRE.

Twin Peaks

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I'd like to hear more about the cooked wine marinade. Recently I read (but have spaced out on the source) that marinating in wine straight from the bottle toughens the outside of the meat and defeats the purpose, and that if you want wine flavors absorbed deep into the meat you need to cook off the alcohol first. Comments?

I'm very attracted to the Daube in the Style of Gascony from CWSF, but I also like some elements of this Provencale version, especially the addition of orange peel and juniper berries.

I've got everything I need to start the CWSF Gascogne version, to be ready on Tuesday, but I'm wondering about a) cooking the wine for the marinade, and b) adding some juniper and maybe a little orange. Would that be total heresy?

I'm thinking it's all going in my Le Creuset Dutch oven, because it's a relatively massive amount of meat and bones and skin, and I don't have a clay pot big enough.

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Abra, like you, I'm quite confused. Some recipes I look at (today, because of a sick child, all I have had my hands are Paula, Julia and Elizabeth). Some call for marinating the meat first, some don't. And then there's the cooking the wine suggestion. And then there's the question of slicing vs. cubing the meat vs. leaving it whole.

The more I look, the more I'm thinking that part of what goes into a daube is how much time the cook had on her hands, and what she had in the larder, but I could be wrong. Did she have time to cook the wine and marinate the meat or were the kids and the land calling to be tended? Did she have orange peel in the larder?

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Marinated 2 1/2 pounds of mixed bone in lamb (about 1 1/2 pounds of neck-ish pieces and a 1 pound shank the butcher sliced for me) in a bottle of Cotes du Rhone with an onion, a few crushed garlic cloves, a carrot, 1 tsp. herb de provence, zest of 1/2 meyer lemon, bay leaves, salt.

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Drained lamb of marinade. Browned lamb in 5 qt. cast iron dutch oven, set aside.

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(Small disaster here when the marinade tips about half of it hits the kitchen floor.)

Added marinade to dutch oven, packed in browned lamb and a small-ish cut ham shank.

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Added home made chicken stock to cover, covered oven and brought to simmer.

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Soaked 1 cup cannelini beans. Drained. Diced 1 carrot, half an onion and added to beans along with bay leaf, a couple thyme sprigs, and 4 cloves garlic. Covered with water and brought to a simmer.

to be continued...

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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On marinating the meat. I think the tough beef cuts (oxtail, for instance) benifit from the marination. Lamb, pork or veal won't be hurt by marinating, but they really don't need it.

The wine will have a drying tendency with the meat especially beef. This will be overcome by the long slow repeated cooking. Cooking of the alcohol first is a good idea & does help combat the dryness.

I'm not too fond of adding orange or lemon, but that's just my personal taste. Juniper is a favorite herb for almost any lamb or beef dish.

eje - you're half way to a cassoulete. Add confit & keep going.

I will, by request, post the Lamb Shank recipe in Recipe Gullet as well as posting a fully annotated version on my blog below. May take a couple of days before I get it done.

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I'd like to hear more about the cooked wine marinade.  Recently I read (but have spaced out on the source) that marinating in wine straight from the bottle toughens the outside of the meat and defeats the purpose, and that if you want wine flavors absorbed deep into the meat you need to cook off the alcohol first. 

I'm such a cookbook-nerd that I think I know where you've read this.. Paula Wolfert quotes Thomas Keller in the Slow Meditteranean Kitchen, page 212...

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I'd like to hear more about the cooked wine marinade.  Recently I read (but have spaced out on the source) that marinating in wine straight from the bottle toughens the outside of the meat and defeats the purpose, and that if you want wine flavors absorbed deep into the meat you need to cook off the alcohol first.  Comments?

Huh. There are quite a few sources (click here for a few) that debunk the notion of "cooking off the alcohol." I'm not sure that two hours of simmering the wine before marinating is a step I'd want to add....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Here in Louisiana our cooking has heavy French influence. I make a dish that is very simular to Daube but with a Cajun touch. I use a sholder or chuck roast rubbed with salt, pepper, thyme & oregano. I make slits & fill them with Cajun seasoning & a toe of garlic, browned on all sides, sauted onions, carrots, wine, after a few hours I add potatoes & cook till tender (they thicken the gravy too).

I serve it with white rice & of course French bread.

I make a pork shoulder the same way but I use sweet potatoes in it.

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Modern style home cooked Daube Part 1

Nothing is critical in this recipe

500g stewing beef (this is chuck from a local organic Dexter)

150ml drinkable wine (Australian Cabernet/Merlot blend)

Aromatics (garlic, bay thyme)

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Reduce the wine with the aromatics to half

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Cube the meat (trimmings to the stock pot). Seal in a sous vide bag (home version: food saver)

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Cook at about 75C/175F for anything from 8 hours to overnight.

When cooked, since its effectively canned, you can store the sealed bag in a fridge or freezer.

Meantime prepare some demiglace, starting with stock from roasted bones and veg, which is covered elsewhere on eG

gallery_7620_135_27246.jpg

If you were in a restaurant this would be on hand; at home you may be able to buy it from a good supermarket.

Back tomorrow for the rest of the story.

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Forgot to post a time line.

9:30 AM, picked up lammikins.

10:00 AM, Marinated lammikins.

2:30 PM, Browned Lammikins.

3:00 PM, Quick Soaked Beans, Started Simmering Lamb.

3:30 PM, Started Simmering Beans.

5:30 PM, Separated cooking liquid from meat.

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Deboned meat and removed fat and connective tissue leaving lamb and pork.

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Defatted Cooking liquid.

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Removed thyme sticks and bay leaves from pre-cooked beans, into Dutch Oven.

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Meat back in.

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Boiled Red Potatoes. Made a marinated tomato salad with last of the year garden tomatoes, Bariani Olive Oil, Bariani "Balsamic" Vinegar, fresh thyme, garlic.

7:30 PM, Tossed tomatoes with mixed greens and Served it Forth.

gallery_27569_3448_10795.jpg

Bonny Dewn 2003 Monterey County Barbera.

gallery_27569_3448_2747.jpg

Daube? Cassoulet? Something in between?

Delicious in any case.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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[...]

eje - you're half way to a cassoulete. Add confit & keep going.

[...]

With that duck confit I just happened to whip up this afternoon?

:raz:

Actually the big problem with the cassoulet idea is that our oven, she's a dead. Kaput.

New range is on order; but, won't be delivered until Nov 24.

Until then, everything is cooked on top of the range (or in the microwave or rice cooker).

:sad:

Which is why the Daube, or Daube inspired stew with beans, lamb, and smoked pork, was so timely.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Modern Daube Pt 2

(Warning; my plating is poor, but I hope it conveys the idea)

The meat: cooked sous-vide for 8 hours at 75C, then cooled and reheated

Also carrots (a bit big), poached, and smoked bacon julienne fried off,

The ramekin with the pastry brush has garlic and parsley puree, as a take on a persillade

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Spaghetti squash, a low carb play on pasta

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Onions roasted in the bacon fat

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Wine sauce: Wine reduced to half, demi-glace, reduced again to a syrup. Note the clarity.

gallery_7620_135_7516.jpg

The whole put together

gallery_7620_135_34821.jpg

Cooking each component separately allows for much greater precision. For example it would be hard to get the sauce that clear and intense conventionally.

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[...]

eje - you're half way to a cassoulete. Add confit & keep going.

[...]

With that duck confit I just happened to whip up this afternoon?

:raz:

Actually the big problem with the cassoulet idea is that our oven, she's a dead. Kaput.

New range is on order; but, won't be delivered until Nov 24.

Until then, everything is cooked on top of the range (or in the microwave or rice cooker).

:sad:

Which is why the Daube, or Daube inspired stew with beans, lamb, and smoked pork, was so timely.

I understand & agree. No oven's a serious bummer, but....

Think of it as a challenge. Despite what the purists say I would contend that you CAN make a perfectly decent cassoulete on the stove top.

Be bold, be inventive, be contentedly full of stove top cassoulete. (you'll have to be quick too. Only 12 cooking days until RAD (Range Arrivial Day))

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I'll be joining the fray later today. Last night, I took a cabrito shoulder out of the freezer and it is currently marinating in the fridge. I'm trying something a little different as I read somewhere that white wine was acceptable for marination; as I had some leftover champagne from my book club meeting yesterday, I decided to use that, along with some garlic and thyme, for the wine component of the marinade.

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I'll be joining the fray later today. Last night, I took a cabrito shoulder out of the freezer and it is currently marinating in the fridge.

[...]

I just realized you probably mean goat shoulder.

Excellent. I can't wait to see it (and wish I was there to taste it).

Erik

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I'll be joining the fray later today. Last night, I took a cabrito shoulder out of the freezer and it is currently marinating in the fridge.

[...]

I just realized you probably mean goat shoulder.

Yes, I'm still trying to get the hang of "what to call the meat of a young goat". The farmer from whom I buy it calls the meat "chevon" and, if the animal is young, "cabrito". My friends at home just call it "kid meat" but that really leaves things open to interpretation :laugh:

The flavour of the meal was wonderful but, as I had a dinner guest who had to leave early, I felt the meat could have done with about another 30-45 minutes in the pot. The sauce also didn't thicken as it has when I've done (beef) daubes in the past. This might be because the shoulder roast didn't have as much connective tissue as a beef chuck roast (my usual pick of cut).

So, with all that said, here's what I did and how it turned out...

I started with a 2 lb. cabrito/kid/chevon/young goat shoulder roast but into 5 chunks. It went into a FoodSaver bag along with 3 crushed cloves of garlic, several sticks of thyme, about 1.5 cups of Korbel sparkling white wine, and about 1 cup of chicken stock. The meat marinated for several hours.

After marinating, the chunks were patted dry, seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, and browned in olive oil. Marinade was added back to the pot along with some tinned tomatoes (I think there were 4 tomatoes but I'm not sure if it is an entire tin's worth or not, as I'd opened a 28 oz tin for something else and these were leftover in the fridge).

Entire thing left to simmer for a couple of hours then served over penne with Parmesan cheese:

gallery_11420_759_18254.jpg

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