French Fridays (on Saturday): My Go to Beef Daube

Beef stew is one of my very favorite foods and when I saw this recipe on the docket for December I was so excited to try another type of stew.  Stew also is very similar to Moroccan tajine (albeit with different spices) and I generally face little resistance from my husband!  I made this dish Monday night when we were having company over for dinner.  I sadly completely underestimated the amount of time this needed to cook.  I worked late and ran home to quickly get it started.  

This is a hard dish for someone who doesn’t eat pork or drink alcohol.  I even considered completely bypassing it for that reason.  Reading posts from others who have made this already I was nervous about how mine would turn out.

I didn’t follow the recipe to a ‘T’.  For the meat I used a package of Country Style Beef Ribs, trimming the fat.  This was a good choice- the meat became very tender even with a shorter cooking time than recommended.  I also didn’t have cheese cloth so had to settle for a bouquet garni tied up in the pot..oh and garlic yea…only had pre-chopped.  The biggest hurdle to overcome was the pork and alcohol.  I simply omitted the bacon that is called for (though can imagine how it would taste!).  To substitute the wine, I used apple cherry juice from the fridge and some apple cider vinegar for a little acid.  I also added some beef broth.  For vegetables I used carrots and potatoes, if I would have had parsnips I would have thrown them in.

I made some French bread crutons to scoop up the stew and they were a big hit.  Overall everyone really enjoyed this.  I wish that there would have been more because it would have made a great leftover! I’ll make this again for sure!

If you’re looking to pick up this book for the holidays it’s a fabulous gift!  Around My French Table: More Than 300 Recipes from My Home to Yours Anyone who loves cooking will love this book.  Check out some of the other great posts this week from French Fridays with Dorie.

I’d love it if you stopped by yesterday’s post and shared your favorite Mediterranean holiday/winter dessert.  There will be a different theme weekly and it’s a great way to find new recipes and blogs!   


  1. @Lana – thanks so much for the suggestions!! I'll give them a shot!

    @onewetfoot – thanks! I guess I'll never know what the real recipe would have tasted like but what I came up with was good too!!

  2. Your substitutions were really smart – you managed to replace all the qualities of of the ingredients you omitted. I bet it was fantastic!

  3. Amanda, I am still to make the beef stew. I was thinking what could be a good substitute for bacon, and I came up with chicken skin cracklings! Next time you roast a chicken, peel its crunchy skin off and freeze it.
    My Njanja in Serbia always kept a jar of chicken fat in the fridge, and I save all the good stuff that's left over from the roasted chicken, the grease and the fond, to use instead of oil or butter. You can even freeze it.
    Using vinegar was a great choice, too – I think the point is to use something that has more flavor than plain water.
    I am looking forward to reading the Mediterranean dessert post – I love ethnic recipes.

  4. Good for you on the substitutes to make it work for you! Glad you enjoyed it, we loved it too!

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