September 1997

Mother Ivey's Bay, Cornwall 29 August 1997 Trying to eke out the last days of a glorious summer, we can't decide whether or not to pack up our tent and head out to Mother Ivey's Bay in North Cornwall. I phoned the campsite to see if there was space, and was met with the incredulous reply, "Have you seen the weather forecast?" Well, Kim and I chuckled to ourselves, abit mixed. You know how these southwesterly fronts move in, stormy one minute, beautiful sunshine the next. Heh heh (nervous laughter). So we're packed and about to set off. But just in case it really does rain all day and night, we were crafty: marinaded overnight some beef, carrots, celery and onions in Mario Fontana's excellent Dolcetto wine, then slow-cooked this deliciously aromatic and warming daube. Now if it rains, who cares: we'll be tucked up in sleeping bags enjoying beef braised in wine and reading Treasure Island to Bella and Guy.


Daube de Boeuf Provençal

Beef Braised in Red Wine

1.5 kg/ 3 lb braising beef (chuck, shirt or shin), but into about 6 cm/ 2 1/2 inch squares

A bottle of full-bodied red wine (Côtes du Rhône, Barbera, Dolcetto)

Spring of fresh thyme

Fresh bay leaf


Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Two red onions, peeled and sliced

4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped

6 carrots, sliced

Head of celery, sliced

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

4 rashers of bacon, cut into short lengths

450 g/1 lb plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (or two tins)

1 strip of orange peel

6 anchovy fillets

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

Handful of freshly chopped parsley

The night before, marinade the trimmed beef, thyme, bay leaf, orange peel, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, onions, celery and carrots in the bottle of red wine, turning occasionally.
The next day, remove the meat and vegetables from marinade and set liquid aside. Pour half the olive oil in a large flameproof casserole. Make alternate layers of bacon, beef, vegetables, and tomatoes, ending on a layer of tomatoes. Pour in the marindade liquid and ensure the orange peel is buried in the middle. Gradually bring to the boil, cover, then reduce heat to a bare simmer and leave for 4 hours or until meat is tender.
Meanwhile, crush the anchovy fillets and capers in a bowl to make a paste. Beat in the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and parsley. Add this paste to the casserole about 1 1/2 hours before the daube is ready.
Serve with rice, butter noodles, or boiled potatoes.

Wine Suggestion: It's always best with such slow-simmered casseroles to drink the same wine that you used in cooking, or better still, to drink a superior, more concentrated wine from the same family. For example, if you cooked with a straight Côtes du Rhône then drink a Gigondas or Châteauneuf-du-Pape. We prepared this daube with Mario Fontana's excellent Dolcetto d'Alba, full of concentrated, dense fruit, and a classic wine for both cooking and drinking. Cheers and here's to the last days of summer.

Copyright © Marc Millon 2000


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Copyright © Marc and Kim Millon 2000