Daube Nicoise (without the hoopdy under the c)
July 20, 2010, 11:39 pm
Filed under: France, James Beard Project, Meat

From The New James Beard: ” The daubes, or wine flavored stews, of Provence derive their matchless flavor from long, slow cooking, traditionally in a daubiere…” He also said “Sometimes the meat was left in one piece, sometimes it was cut up, but invariably it was marinated or cooked in wine, without browning.”

The process started yesterday with the marinade described in yesterday’s post but I’m puttin’ it here too.

marinade ingredients

From the cookbook, with my comments in parenthesis:

Daube Nicoise (probably should feed 6 but in reality fed 4 with leftovers for 1)
Rub 3 pounds beef shin or chuck (I used chuck) and 2 pigs feet (I used 4 halves) with coarse salt. (I didn’t do this step because I have to watch the salt intake). Combine 6 cloves garlic; 1 sliced onion;a pinch each rosemary, thyme, and basil (I used a 2 inch sprig of fresh rosemary, 4 basil leaves, and 3-2 inch stems of thyme);6 peppercorns; and 1 bottle of red wine (cheap merlot) in a pan, bring to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Cool slightly (well, ok, completely…it was a couple of hours before I got to it); pour over meat and let stand 12 to 24 hours in refrigerator.

Put meat and mainade in a heavy braising pan (cast iron dutch oven. I think a crock pot would work nicely)bring slowly to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer very gently over lowest possible heat or in a 275 degree oven for 3-1/2 hours, or until almost tender. Add 3 or 4 ripe (5 romas) tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (I didn’t bother peeling them, as I think it’s a pain in the butt. Seed them by cutting off the top and squeezing the guts into a bowl) or 2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes (this is NOT the seasoned Italian Style tomatoes! I think you could use a big can of diced tomatoes), drained and chopped, and cook 45 minutes.

Remove meat and slice thick. Skim excess fat from sauce, remove meat from pigs feet (what meat? I got like a teaspoon of meat off the 4 splits…too much effort in my opinion, but if you have meaty feet go ahead) and add to sauce. Replace sliced meat and cook 15 minutes, add 1 cup pitted soft black olives (1 can of medium black olives) and 1/2 cup chopped parsley. Taste and correct seasoning.

Ok, This was really delicious. The porky flavor from the pigs feet added a something extra beyond the ordinary wine-soaked pot roast. The seasoning was just right- not too much basil or rosemary, nor too little garlic…well balanced, I thought. I would, however, add some fresh ground black pepper at the end, but that can be done at the table.
He recommends serving it with pasta, which is what I did- a whole wheat raddiatore (radiatorre?), because it seemed like a hearty pasta was needed to go with the meat and sauce, and the raddiatore (radiatorre?) shape is excellent for grabbing bits and soaking up the thin sauce. The Thundering Herd enjoyed it and there wasn’t much left over. Next time, tho, rolls will be involved. The sauce kinda begs to be sopped up with a crusty french roll or maybe sliced baguette.

The whole process, from making the marinade yesterday to the slow cooking today, was wonderfully fragrant. You could smell the individual herbs and the meaty, garlicy goodness kind of ticked the nose of the people coming in the back door. “mom, I could smell it as soon as I stepped out o the car” said Will.

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