Of all my pots and pans, the cast iron Dutch oven is the timeless classic. It is sturdy, weighs a ton, and has so many cooking uses. It’s been used for soup, stew, bread, and taken on camping trips. Since cast iron gets better with age, I hope to pass this on as a family heirloom at some point.
One Dutch oven dish I’ve made several times is beef daube provencal. It is a classic French beef stew with red wine and vegetables. The stew is braised and then baked for several hours, allowing it to be tender and flavorful. I usually double the recipe, and it provides our family with several days of meals. It can be served hot over rice or egg noodles.
Beef Daube Provencal
Slightly adapted from Cooking Light
2 teaspoons olive oil
12 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lbs. boneless chuck roast meat, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 1/4 teaspoons salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
1 cup red wine
2 cups chopped carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Dash of ground cloves
1 tomato, diced
1 bay leaf
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat a Dutch oven over low heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add garlic; cook 5 minutes or until garlic is fragrant, stirring occasionally. Remove garlic with a slotted spoon; set aside. Increase heat to medium-high. Add beef to pan; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan. Add wine to pan; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Add reserved garlic, beef, remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, carrots, and next 8 ingredients (through bay leaf), and bring to a boil.
Cover and bake at 300 degrees for 2 1/2 hours or until beef is tender. Discard bay leaf. Makes 4-5 servings.