Friday, November 30, 2012

French Fridays with Dorie - Beef Cheek Daube


Today the recipe for the French Fridays with Dorie group are Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots. Dorie uses a somewhat “forgotten cut”, beef cheeks, in her rich, dark version of the French classic.  For this fabulous recipe you cook the beef cheeks in a dark and rich red wine and beef stock to make it meltingly tender, then serve alongside mashed potatoes, pasta, or, as in my case, homemade Herbed Spätzle (for the recipe please click here).




Beef cheeks can be a little difficult to find. Once you have managed to order them and brought them home, you have to trim any excess fat or sinew from the meat and cut into chunks. Two cheeks should be enough for four people. Dorie´s recipe calls for browning the meat in hot fat in a casserole. Do this in batches. Heat a flameproof casserole dish, add the vegetable oil and brown the beef cheeks all over, then remove from the dish and set aside. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat, add a bit more oil, sweat down some finely diced carrots, onions and bacon strips and cook for about ten minutes, or until pale golden-brown. Add flour and toast it. Deglaze the casserole with a good red wine and some (maybe) homemade beef broth. Return the beef to the dish, add more beef beef stock and bring up to a boil, then cook in the oven for two hours or until the beef is very tender. The slightest prod with the tines of a fork should have it collapsing into tender meaty strands. Savoury bitter chocolate that you add at the end to the sauce, transforms this slow cooked beef dish into a gourmet experience

Serve the Beef Cheek Daube piled on top of mashed potatoes, alongside pasta or stir it into pasta and be ready to pledge not to use minced beef again because it also makes a staggeringly good and achingly rich melt-in-your-mouth fork-tender Ragù.




To see, how my fellow Doristas mastered this French classic, please click here.






44 comments:

  1. A wonderful recipe for chilly months. With spaetzle, my favorite! It looks rich and gorgeous Andrea! Happy weekend

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    1. Thanks, Paula, you are absolutely right about this being perfect for a chilly month!

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  2. Made the wrong daube, but looking forward to this one - and definitely with Spätzle. Beautiful!

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    1. Thanks so much, Denise! Your "wrong" Daube looked absolutely wonderful too! And if you get a chance to prepare this recipe, you might want to give the Spätzle a try as well, they are nice for mopping up that sauce.

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  3. Ohhhhhh....this would be so good with spatzle. I'm going to do that next time!

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    1. Thanks, Eileen - you might like this with the Herbed or plain Spätzle, who knows?!

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  4. Beautiful - especially with the spatzle. I haven't tried making spatzle from scratch yet, but it is on my list.

    Have a lovely weekend.

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    1. Thank so much, Cher - it is actually very easy to prepare Spätzle, as long as you have a good recipe and the right equipment.

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  5. Ohhhh..love the spatzle! My grandmother used to make spatzle. Your whole dinner looks fantastic…perfectly presented as well!! Lovely photos, Andrea! Have a great weekend!

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  6. this was great! your meal certainly looks like a winner!

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    1. Thanks so much! Whole family liked it and I already ordered a second batch of those cheeks for the Holidays. Since everyone was so happy, I will be making this recipe again, the same way I prepared it the first time.

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  7. Oh, yummy spaetzle! A neighbor of mine who had relatives in Germany would make spaetzle sometimes and it was delish! I must try it soon. I agree that this one was really tasty and yours looks beautiful!

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    1. Thank you so much, this was indeed a wonderful recipe, beef cheeks or not - it seems to have tasted fabulous with other cuts of meat as well - that certainly speaks for this recipe!

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  8. The spaetzele looks delicious! You might be the only person who actually used beef cheeks.

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    1. Thanks so much, Guyla - this recipe was a winner, beef cheeks and Spätzle and all!

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  9. I think your presentation might be my favorite from all the Doristas. That spaetzle looks to die for! Nice that you were able to find the beef cheeks too. I'm going to have to be more persistent about that next time I make this. Lovely job on the dish!

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    1. Thanks, Sara for the very lovely comment - if you can get Beef Cheeks, it is definitely worth trying them, at least once - we adored the way this dish tasted with them.

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  10. Congratulations on finding beef cheeks! Your daube looks delicious. I really loved the sauce in this dish. Your Spätzle looks wonderful. I've always wanted to try making it. My mother gave me a Spätzle maker when she was living in Germany, but I've never actually used it. Now I'm motivated to do it next time I need an idea for a side. Have a wonderful weekend, Andrea!

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    1. Betsy, now that I finally put up the link to the Spätzle recipe, maybe you will try it out and let me know whether you liked it!

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  11. Your stew looks marvelous but I think we are all craving the Spätzle such a perfect pasta for this dish.

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    1. Thanks, so much, Diane! Spätzle are the kids favorite food of all times and I love them as well and I always make them with Gulasch/stew, always!

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  12. Great idea with spätzle and nice to see at least one of us got cheeky with this one. But that Spätzle. I could have made a whole meal out of that.

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    1. Thanks, Trevor - if you ever get the chance to get "cheeky" with this recipe, do! You will not regret it, I promise! And the Spätzle, I often make a meal around those for the kids - they can never get enough of them, with herbs, without, with cheese or with caramelized onions or with steamed spicnach - no limits to the cook`s imagination!

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  13. The dish looks and sounds very tasty. I like the Spatzle:). Very nice presentation.

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  14. Oh Andrea I love Spatzle but I never seem to get it right :( Beautiful photographs, they make me want to go to the fridge and heat up the tiny, leftover portion from yesterday!!

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    1. Thanks, Maria - Spätzle actually are as easy as pie, you need just a bit of practice and the right equipment, and the right recipe, of course...

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  15. After reading your Post, I want to run right back to my kitchen and make another pot of this daube. It was so, so good. The next time I make it, I definitely am going to have beef cheeks sourced. I just want the experience of cooking with them. Have you made beef cheeks before, Andrea? Forget the mashed potatoes if you can have homemade Herbed Spätzle - they look wonderful. Thank you for always including the recipes, transposed for we North Americans, on your Posts.

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    1. Mary, no, I had never ever cooked with beef cheeks before but they are quite "the thing" with European cooks and everyone is always raving about them. My butcher too, I got such a long lesson and instructions from him on the preparation and in the end he asked me for Dorie´s recipe! Ha!

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  16. Hi Andrea, Your photo is so beautiful...I wish I had added more carrots, or larger chunks. I did add about double the amount but sliced them too thin and most seemed to melt away...I like yours much better. Actually a saw your previous post with your Lebkuchen and that is what I really want to bake! Looks great.

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    1. Thanks so much, cookies are constantly on my mind these days. How can you get around them at this time of year and I must say that the Lebkuchen are my very favorite ones to make and eat these days.

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  17. Mmmmmmmmm spatzle!! Looks so good!

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  18. I must admit that beef cheeks don't sound too appealing, but the finished dish looks great. Do you know if any other cuts of meat would work?

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    1. Beth, the recipe can be made with chuck roast as well and quite a few of the Doristas have prepared this dish with that cut of beef quite successfully. Hope that helps.

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  19. From the looks of it, your spatzle is a big hit. I love to just eat that with butter on top. Your daube looks so delicious,
    and good for you to have found the beef cheeks. Have a great weekend.

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    1. Thanks so much, Nana - those Spätzle are quite versatile, I agree. Some of my kids love to eat them with caramelized onions, some with melted gruyère, some plain with only butter - and all versions are equally wonderful.

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  20. Maybe I'm glad I couldn't find beef cheeks! Beautifully done, Andrea!

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  21. I can't believe that you found beef cheeks! I looked for them and even went to a new international market that opened up across town and found every other part but the beef cheeks. I made this and really enjoyed it, but didn't get a chance to post about it. It's a perfect dish for a chilly winter evening and for us it was a very rainy one.

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    1. Elaine, yes, I did find some beef cheeks - I had to order them a few days in advance and the butcher was hesitant at first but it does pay to be persitent once in a while and I have since ordered them again because the whole family adored this recipe.

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