Daube, a French contry stew is a homey dish made from simple ingredients. The secret to its rich flavor is to cook and cool it over a two-day period--a real bonus if you're entertaining and looking for make-ahead menu options.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Sprinkle beef with salt and pepper. Brown beef in several batches in hot oil until browned on all sides. Remove beef to a large plate, reserving drippings in Dutch oven.
Sauté onion, carrot, and garlic in reserved drippings over medium heat 6 to 8 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine. Return beef to pan; add bouquet garni. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Cover pan and refrigerate overnight.
Remove Dutch oven from refrigerator. Skim fat from surface, if desired. Let stew stand 20 minutes. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour. Uncover and simmer 30 more minutes or until beef is very tender and stew is thickened. Discard bouquet garni before serving. Garnish each serving, if desired.
*A bouquet garni is a small bundle of fresh herbs, such as parsley, thyme and bay leaves, tied together with kitchen twine. We tested with flat-leaf parsley, rosemary and 2 bay leaves.
Christmas with Southern Living 2002