Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beef Daube

As you may recall from the note at the bottom of my Crock-Baked Beets and Pollo Colorado post, I got married on August 20.  (In fact, you can read about Gourmet PhD's adventures in New England food due to being in the Boston-area for my wedding and having delayed flights on the way back on her food blog.)  Obviously, I not only didn't get any reading for exams done during the two weeks surrounding the wedding, I also didn't have a chance to update my blog.  Now I'm back and I have a backlog of posts to make.

Speaking of food blogs and websites, I was very excited to recently discover the Crock Pot Girls who have a Facebook page and a web page (that is a bit under construction).  They facilitate recipe sharing for slow cooking, so I'm very excited to start exploring their site.

Anyway, one of the great things about crock pot cooking is that almost any regular soup recipe can be adapted for the crock pot.  You may remember that I did this back when I made the chicken tagine.  So, back in the beginning of May (May 3, to be exact) I did just it again.  Basically, my roommate and I had some white wine that had been in the fridge for too long and could really only be cooked with at that point.  So, I pulled out my Joy of Cooking and checked the index for things that could be made with white wine.  What I found, and decided to adapt for the crock pot, was a "Beef Stew with Mustard, Herbs, and White Wine (Beef Daube)."  The Joy of Cooking explains that "the word daube comes from daubiere, the French word for a covered casserole.  This is a refreshing change from the heavier flavors that we associate with beef stew."

Although I generally followed the recipe, I was kind of free adapting it for my own tastes.  The recipe as listed in the Joy of Cooking only has beef, tomatoes, and onions in the stew (not counting spices, of course).  I added celery and carrots to make it a little more stew-like for my taste.  I'll include my recipe at the end of this post.

You can follow the pictures from the top of my post to see how I made this stew.  I covered the beef with seasoned flour and then browned it on all sides before adding it to the crock pot.  With the beef, I added the veggies and spices: onion, celery, carrots, garlic, dried parsley, dried thyme, dried marjoram, a bay leaf, and dried celery flakes.  I added the wine and Dijon mustard to the frying pan I had cooked the beef in and mixed that together before adding it to the crock pot.  Then I turned it on to LOW and cooked it for the whole day.  I'd recommend 6-8 hours, or at least until the beef is cooked.

This is what the stew looked like when it was finished cooking.

Unfortunately, because it's been so long since I made this recipe, I don't remember how many servings I got!  My guess would be 6-8 servings, since most of the soups that I've made in that crock pot have turned out to have that many, so I'll estimate the cost and the calories based on that estimate. Depending on how big of a serving you serve, this could be 510 to 382 calories (510 for six servings, 382 for eight).  With a salad, this could be a full meal.  Even adding a piece of bread or a small roll to it wouldn't really kill you calorie-wise (and force you to actually get out of your window-less graduate student office to go to the gym).

In terms of cost, the good thing about this recipe is that a lot of the ingredients, especially the spices, mustard, and olive oil, are things that you'll normally have on hand in your kitchen.  I actually only purchased the beef, onions, and celery flakes for this recipe, making it only cost me only from about $1.15-$1.50 per serving.  Obviously, if you had to buy everything, it would cost a lot more, especially in the cost of purchasing the spices. I'd estimate in that case the cost would be about $5.75-7.60 per serving (of course, assuming, that you're buying a cheap bottle of wine to cook with).  So, ultimately, I'd say that this is a good, cheap and pretty healthy recipe if you have some white wine that needs to be used up.

1 cup all-purpose flour
approx. 1 tsp. salt
approx. 1/4 tsp. black pepper
approx. 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 lbs. beef stew meet
olive oil
16-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
2 medium onions, sliced
2-3 carrots, chopped
2-3 stalks of celery, chopped
1 tsp. dried parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried celery flakes
3 cups dry white wine
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Mix the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika together in a bowl.  Coat the pieces of beef stew meat with the flour mixture.
Heat 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat.  Add the beef to the olive oil in batches and brown on all sides.  Remove the beef from the frying pan and place in crock pot.  Add the tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and the remaining spices to the crock pot.
Pour off most, but not all, of the fat from the frying pan.  Add the white wine and bring it to a boil, scraping the leftover bits of meat from the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the heat to simmer.  Add the Dijon mustard and whisk to blend.  Pour this mixture into the crock pot and stir everything to combine.
Cook on LOW for 6-8 hours, until the beef is cooked through.

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