The perfect dish for my Dad! – Recipe by Steven Saunders

The perfect dish for my Dad!
Daube of Beef, red wine and star anise juices by Steven Saunders fromt he Little Geranium

DAUBE OF BEEF, red wine and star anise juices.

You know how it is with beef, everyone wants it cooked in a different way! My father is a typical example of someone who will ruin the best beef I can buy in Spain by ordering it well cooked.

I buy my beef from a small village in Galicia (north-west Spain) where the weather is usually a bit wet and therefore just imagine the lush green grass and the quality of the beef, expensive but amazing!

Christmas is coming and at this time of year my Dad loves to visit me. I hide away the Galician beef and cook him this dish because when fillet of beef is well cooked it can be dry and when featherblade or topside is slow cooked in stock it is the most succulently soft slow cooked beef dish you will ever eat, tender but moist and its dead easy to do!

It can also be prepared in advance which is ideal for a dinner party.  Add roasted chestnut puree to make it more seasonal (optional) and you will be hailed God of the kitchen!

The dish originates from Provence where traditionally it was cooked with herbs de provence lots of garlic and a little orange. There are many variations some not so good but this one is exceptional so cut it out from this paper and use it at some point! Failing that we will have it on the menu in both The Little Geranium La Cala de Mijas and in Marbella (Golden Mile).

Regular readers love my little name drops of who I have cooked what for, so here we go! I cooked this dish for Her Majesty The Queen in 2000 in Manchester. Her Majesty (like my dad) likes her meat well cooked.

If there was ever a time that I was a little snooty about how beef should be cooked then after cooking for Her Majesty, my feelings changed and hence this dish has been celebrated in my restaurants ever since! Enjoy.

Daube de boeuf (serves about 6)

  • 1kg of feather blade of beef(0r Topside .see your butcher) trimmed a little and cut into 250g to 300g  pieces
  • 50g of plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 litre of red wine, full-bodied
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 8 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 200g of button mushrooms
  • 200g of pancetta, cut into lardons
  • 1 litre of meat stock
  • 2 pieces of star anise
  • 2 oranges (juice) and their zest
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • salt &black pepper to season

Garnish Vegetables (to finish dish)

  • 100g of carrots, turned or cut into small batons
  • 100g of baby onions
  • 100g of button mushrooms cut into quarters
  • 100g of pancetta cut into 1 cm pieces
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of vegetable oil

1Preheat the oven to 150°C

2 Season the beef with salt and pepper and dust with the seasoned flour to coat it well

3 Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan over a medium heat. Gently sear the beef for a couple of minutes on each side until golden

4 Remove the beef from the frying pan and set aside in a warm place.

5Put a deep saucepan over a medium heat and add 1/2 tablespoon of oil and 1/2 tablespoon of butter. Once hot, add the roughly chopped carrots, onions, garlic and thyme and cook to colour

6 Add the flour covered beef chunks and then add the redwine and all other ingredients including the stock but excluding the garnish vegetables.

7 Bring to a simmer on the stove. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 15 mins and then turn down the oven to 120c and simmer for 3 hours

8 Once the beef is soft and juicy (test it) remove the meat and carefully pass the cooking liquid through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Boil on a high heat until reduced by half or until the sauce has a smooth, silky consistency

9 To serve, heat half the garnish oil and butter in a pan over a medium heat and cook the turned carrots and baby onions etc for a few minutes until soft

10 In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil and butter and fry the pancetta and button mushrooms for 2 minutes. Add to the cooked vegetables (9) and carefully drain any excess liquid from the pan.

11 Put the cooked pancetta, mushroom and vegetable mix around the pieces of beef. Pour over the reduced red wine sauce. Serve immediately with creamy mashed potatoes or any seasonal vegetable puree

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