When one thinks of French cuisine a lot comes to mind. Hoity toity superfluous creations and time consuming, methodology are but a few. Though when you venture down south things become a little more rustic and relaxed. Enter the boeuf daube Provençal.
This slow simmered beef and vegetable stew locates its roots, like most popular dishes of the day it seems, within seventeenth century peasantry cooking and was adapted from the Italian version, adobo (Sacré Bleu! The French have actually appropriated something from somewhere else). The hearty, robust flavours coupled with the gravy reduction made this a perfect meal from which to gain sustenance and go on with the days work.
Traditionally cooked in a stewpot known as the daubière and eaten alongside la macaronde, flat macaroni cooked in the juices from the daube, today, this one pot wonder makes for the perfect respite during those cold winter nights. As if the ease and warmth of the dish doesn’t draw you in enough, it also provides a great excuse to polish off the left over red wine that wasn’t used in making it, because, wine not!
This dish may not adhere to the carefully curated culinary identity of French haute cuisine. It does however attest to the nouvelle cuisine movement which began in the 1960’s by chefs who sought to make french food more seasonal and fresh and less like a culinary artefact derived from Escoffier classicism.
Outside of France, this dish usually appears in most homes by way of a simple stew. The only difference is that the French version has more herbs and spices (leave it to the French to take something and make it just that bit more complicated).
You can check out the recipe here!
For those of you who find any excuse to dine out, you can find this dish in Melbourne at Bistro Guillame but be prepared to leave with a much lighter wallet.