Daube de Boeuf à la Provencale / Beef Stew Provencal Style with Garlic, Capers and Anchovies

June 25, 2024

This is nothing else than a very good, dare I say classic-or standard- beef stew, enhanced with Provencal flavours and ingredients: capers, garlic, parsley and anchovies, added at the end of the cooking.

Serves 4-6:

  • about 1-1.2 kg of beef (suitable for a stew), cleaned and cut into 3-4cm cubes/chunks
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • a celery stick, chopped (optional)
  • 2 gloves of garlic, peeled
  • a glass of dry white wine
  • 1 tin of peeled tomatoes or use 4-5 fresh ripe tomatoes when in season (skinned and deseeded)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a couple of fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil for frying

To finish:

  • 1 tablespoon of capers (if in salt, keep them in cold water for 2 h and rinse well)
  • 7-8 anchovy fillets in oil, drained
  • a handful of fresh parsley leafs plus more to garnish
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • some white wine vinegar to taste

Heat up (on a medium heat) 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil in a casserole dish.

Brown on each side (seasoning with salt and pepper) the chunks of beef. You may have to do it in batches in order not to overcrowd the casserole dish. Take the meat out and keep warm.

Now add the chopped onion, carrots and celery (if using) to the dish and fry, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic along with the thyme and bay leaf. Fry for further 5 minutes.

Add the meat (along with any juices) into the casserole, give everything a stir and pour in the wine. Bring to simmer and wait until the liquid has reduced by half. Add the tinned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly (with the lid on) for a minimum of 2h 30 min stirring occasionally. Depending on the cut of the meat, the cooking of the meat until tender may take you over 3 hours.

Once the meat has turned tender and it almost falls apart, stir in the chopped: garlic, parsley, capers and anchovies along with a splash of the vinegar. Cook everything for about 5-8 minutes, adjust the seasoning, add more vinegar if needed and serve decorated with fresh parsley.

The daube de boeuf lends itself extremely well with blanched green beans or a crisp green salad, as well as rosemary roast potatoes (with a little bit of garlic).