Provencal Beef and Olive Daube

A daube is a French method of braising meat with wine and herbs.This version from the Nice area in the south of France also includes black olives and tomatoes.

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  • 1.5 kg   topside beef
  • 225 gr (8 oz) lardons, or thick streaky bacon cut into strips
  • 225 gr (8 oz) carrots, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 parsley stalks
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 225 gr (8 oz or 2 cups) pitted black olives
  • 400 gr (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes
  • crusty bread, flageolet beans or pasta, to serve

For the marinade

  • 120 ml (4 fl oz or 1/2 cup) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 4 shallots, sliced
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint or 2/3 cup) red wine
  • 6 peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 2 parsley stalks
  • salt


Preheat the oven to 160° C.

To make the marinade, heat the oil in a large shallow pan, add the onion, shallots, celery and carrot.

Cook for 2 minutes, then lower the heat and add the red wine, pepper-corns, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and parsley stalks.

Season with salt, then cover and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Set aside.

Place the beef in a large glass or earthenware dish and pour over the cooled marinade.

Cover the dish and leave to marinate in a cool place or in the fridge for 12 hours, turning the meat once or twice.

Lift the meat out of the marinade and fit snugly into an ovenproof casserole.

Add the lardons or bacon and carrots, along with the herbs and garlic. Strain in all the marinade.

Cover the casserole with greaseproof paper, then the lid and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the olives and tomatoes.

Re-cover the casserole, return to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes.


Serve the meat cut into thick slices, accompanied by crusty bread, beans or pasta.
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