Monday, November 21, 2011

Daube Provençale

This is a pretty simple lamb stew--and follows the same pattern as Boeuf Bourguignon. The only thing is that it takes a little time to simmer down. I have made this dish several times, and I still come back to it. Like it says in Like Water for Chocolate, soup can heal anything.

Alas, I don't have lamb or veal stock on hand. Restaurants get bones by the bag-full and make stock from scratch. I wish I could do the same. Perhaps one day I'll have that kind of time--but don't hold your breath. In the mean time, if any of you know a supplier of these kinds of stocks in the GTA, let me know.

Betsy is working late, tonight, so I'm making this for Henry and me and giving some more to our pregnant neighbours. Pregnant women need stew. The beauty of a stew like this is that you can do it many hours in advance of serving.

Daube Provençale

from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook
(thanks Meg and Seb)

2 Tbs. olive oil
2 Tbs. butter
3 lb lamb neck and shoulder with bones (or 2 lb boneless) cut into 2" pieces
salt and pepper
1/2 lb. slab bacon, cut into lardons
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 celery rib
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbs. tomato paste
1 Tbs. flour
1 Cup white wine
1 Cup strong, dark veal, chicken, or lamb stock (got some demi-glace? sneak in a spoonful)
1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
1 bouquet garni
zest of 1 orange*
2 potatoes, peeled and "turned," meaning cut into small football shapes, or just cuke the damn things into large dice
4 sprigs of flat parsley

Dutch oven with cover
wooden spoon
serving bowl

Serves 4

Prep the Lamb
Heat the olive oil in the Dutch oven on high heat. Add the butter. Foam it. Let it subside. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Sear it on all sides in the hot pan, in batches if need be, until all of it is deep, dark brown. When browned, remove from the pan with the tongs and set aside.

Cook the Stew
Add the bacon to the still-hot pan and cook until it's crispy and has rendered out its fat. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside. Discard most of the fat and then add the onion, celery, and garlic to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat until the vegetables have caramelized (browned), about 5 minutes. Using the wooden spoon, stir in the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute. Stir in the wine and scrape up all that brown stuff. Bring the wine to a boil, reduce by half, then add the stock (and a teaspoon of demi-glace if you have any). Bring back to a boil and reduce immediately to a simmer. Add the lamb, carrot, bouquet garni, orange zest, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper, cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for about 90 minutes, occasionally skimming the fat from the surface of the stew.**

After 90 minutes, add the potatoes to the stew and cook until they are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes. Skim the stew a final time, making sure there is no film of fat floating on the surface, then serve in a big old bowl, garnished with the chopped parsley.

Tay's notes
* I find this to be too much zest, I like it better with about 1/2 an orange zest.
** Using a spoon to skim off the foam at the top of the stew sucks, don't do that. Instead, use a small fine strainer. The point is to get the foam, which is created by nasty protein molecules you want to grab.


1 comment:

meg said...

Wow, looks like you use that cookbook as much as I do!