Daube Provençal de Boeuf (Beef Stew from Provence)

This is a stew which can be made quickly and deliciously in a pressure cooker or slowly in a heavy Dutch oven or “Cocotte.”  When I have time, I like to use the old-fashioned, long method as it leaves a wonderfully rich aroma in the kitchen as the stew simmers. 



1 large red onion, coarsely chopped

1 large carrot, coarsely chopped

1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped

3 cloves garlic, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 cup dry red wine

2 Tablespoons olive oil

4-6 strips of orange zest

1 teaspoon Herbes de Provence

2 bay leaves, crumbled

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 pounds boneless beef chuck, trimmed of fat and cut into 2-inch cubes


6 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3-5 Tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 leek, white part only, coarsely chopped

6 large carrots, peeled and cut into one-inch rounds

1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes

1/2 cup black olives (preferably Niçoise)

½  teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Minced parsley for garnishing


Cooking Directions:

1.       Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a large stainless steel or glass bowl.

2.       Add the beef, mix thoroughly then cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or preferably overnight.

3.       Remove the pieces of beef and dry them thoroughly with paper towels and set aside.

4.       Strain the marinade, toss out the vegetables—but keep the orange strips.  Reserve the liquid and orange strips for later use.

5.       Put the flour, salt and pepper in a plastic bag and shake vigorously the mix thoroughly.

6.       Add the pieces of meat, ten pieces at a time, to the bag and shake to coat evenly.

7.       Put 3 Tablespoons of olive oil in the Dutch oven and heat over a high flame. 

8.      Working in small batches (two or three), brown the meat for about 5 minutes.  Drain onto paper towels.  When all the beef is cooked, set aside on a plate. You may need to add more olive oil.

9.      Reduce the temperature and slowly cook the onion until soft, around 5 minutes.

10.   Add the garlic and sauté for another minute.

11.   Add back the browned meat, carrots, tomatoes, and salt and pepper.  Finally, add the reserved marinade and orange peels.

12.   Mix thoroughly and cover the Dutch oven with a lid.  Cook over a medium heat for several hours.

13.   Periodically, check the meat for tenderness. 

14.   When done, add olives and adjust seasoning.

15.   Pour in a large serving bowl or soup terrine and garnish with parsley.


As with most stews, they improve with some age.  Make tonight but serve tomorrow or the next day!


Servings: 8

Wine Recommendations:  Côtes du Rhône, Gigondas, or a Cru Beaujolais such as Moulin-à-Vent or Juliénas.