Learn About Daube - What Is it and How It's Cooked

Daube of beef a la provencale
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The word daube (pronounced "dobe") traditionally refers to a cooking technique for stewing meat such as beef or lamb or even turkey or pheasant.

A classic daube of beef featured a single large piece of meat, such as a top rump (which comes from the beef round primal cut) which would be larded with strips of salt pork and then marinated in wine and brandy before braising in its own marinade along with carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, parsley and thyme. Different variations would specify white wine or red as the marinating/cooking liquid.

Daube vs. Stew

What distinguishes a traditional daube from a stew is that a daube would be cooked in an earthenware vessel called a daubière, which is shaped in such a way as to inhibit evaporation of the cooking liquid. Cooks would even go so far as to seal the lid of the pot with a paste made of flour and water. Daube was also served in the daubière.

There are many variations on the basic daube recipe, mostly based on the region of France where they originate.

To make a daube of beef a la béarnaise, the bottom of the daubière would be lined with strips of ham. And instead of a single piece of meat, the meat would be cut into 2-inch cubes which were individually larded with small strips of pork fat.

Daube of beef a la provençale featured mushrooms, olives, and orange peel.

It's possible to duplicate the daubière effect using a Dutch oven by placing a piece of parchment paper atop the meat while it braises, to help retain the condensation, or use a larger piece of parchment across the whole rim of the pot to produce a tighter seal of the lid.