Beef Daube

This one is a bit more involved of a recipe, but it comes from another classic and personal favorite. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfe is moving and beautiful and I think essential for everyone to read. It weaves together a philosophical narrative about childhood memories and the evolution into adulthood. Virginia herself suffered with bouts of sever depression throughout her life, and is thought to have also suffered from anorexia. This makes her elaborate description of this dish all the more profound and intriguing.

The Quote

“…an exquisite scent of olives and oil and juice rose from the great brown dish as Marthe, with a little flourish, took the cover off. The cook had spent three days over that dish. And she must take great care, Mrs. Ramsay thought, diving into the soft mass, to choose a specially tender piece for William Bankes. And she peered into the dish, with its shiny walls and its confusion of savoury brown and yellow meats and its bay leaves and its wine . . . ‘It is a triumph,’ said Mr. Banks, laying his knife down for a moment. He had eaten attentively. It was rich; it was tender. It was perfectly cooked.”

The Recipe


4 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck, excess fat trimmed, meat cut into 2-inch cubes
1 750-ml bottle of dry red wine
3 medium carrots, peeled, cut into large pieces
1 large onion, quartered
8 fresh thyme sprigs
2 garlic cloves, halved
2 bay leaves
1 large fresh rosemary sprig
1 4×1-inch strip orange peel (orange part only)
2 ounces pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 tablespoons all purpose flour
Chopped fresh parsley


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in large bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours.
  2. Remove beef from marinade; pat dry. Reserve marinade. Cook pancetta in large pot over medium-low heat until fat is rendered, 5 minutes. Add chopped onion and garlic. Sauté
 until onion is translucent, 6 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
  3. Heat oil in same pot over high heat. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add beef to pot; cook until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes per batch. Transfer to bowl with pancetta mixture. Reduce heat to medium-high. Add flour to pot. Whisk until flour browns, about 4 minutes. Gradually whisk in reserved marinade. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Add beef mixture and any accumulated juices to pot. Cover tightly; simmer until meat is tender, about 2 hours. Uncover; simmer until meat is very tender and liquid is reduced to sauce consistency, about 45 minutes longer. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate.)
  4. Spoon fat off top of daube. Remove carrots, quartered onion, herb sprigs, bay leaves and peel and discard. Bring daube to simmer, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with parsley.

Recipe from here


6 thoughts on “Beef Daube

  1. Wow this sounds amazing! i have been paying more attention to your blogs for the class and haven’t had a chance to really look at the rest of this. After looking at this I may have to try this out. Once again, I really like your creativity in the topic of your blogs!


  2. I get it now! I hadn’t had the chance to look at your recipe posts, but I really like this idea of literally getting recipes from books you’ve read. I get it now! It’s a really cute concept and I would say it’s pretty unique. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Finding recipes from poetry or novels is so interesting and fascinating! Normally one would find recipes online or in a cookbook, but this makes me want to try these recipes from the novels and poetries. Also, I really like how you included the quote and gave an explanation and then the recipe. Nice work!!


  4. That sounds SO GOOD! I wish I was good at cooking but I’m literally HORRIBLE. It’s really bad but my mom is really good at cooking so I’m going to see if she can help me make this because it sounds really good and it sounds similar to something I’ve eaten before but I want to start finding new meals to eat because I’m always eating the same stuff everyday. Great post!!


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