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Daube of Beef Arlésienne

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8 small red potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled
1 1/2 cups water
8 small pearl onions (about 5 ounces), peeled
About 12 to 16 baby carrots (4 ounces), peeled
1 1/2 teaspoons virgin olive oil
4 boned shoulder blade beef steaks or chicken steaks, trimmed of all surrounding fat and cut in half (20 to 24 ounces total trimmed weight)
1 medium onion (about 5 ounces), peeled and chopped (1 cup)
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence (see link)

Arlésienne mixture:
12 to 15 shelled hazelnuts (about 2 tablespoons) 1 slice toasted country bread (about 1 ounce)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup loose fresh parsley leaves
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/4 cup Nicoise olives
1 medium tomato (6 ounces), seeded and cut into 1-inch dice (3/4 cup)


Herbes de Provence is a mixture of dried thyme, savory, marjoram and oregano. It can also contain sage, rosemary, lavendar and fennel seed. It is available in the spice section at gourmet markets and large supermarkets. Jacques Pépin makes his own.

  • Place the potatoes and water in a saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and boil the potatoes gently for 8 minutes.
  • Add the pearl onions and carrots, bring the mixture back to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and boil gently for another 8 minutes, or until all the vegetables are tender but still firm when pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Drain off and reserve the vegetable cooking liquid (you should have about 1 1/2 cups), and set the vegetables aside in the pan.
  • Heat the oil in a large, sturdy pot. When hot, add the steaks and cook them over medium to high heat for 8 to 10 minutes, turning them once midway through, so they are browned on both sides. Add the chopped onion, and cook it with the steaks for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then mix in the reserved vegetable-cooking liquid, white wine, salt and herbes de Provence. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to very low, and boil very gently for 1 hour. (The recipe can be prepared to this point a day in advance.)

For the Arlésienne mixture:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spread the hazelnuts on a tray, and toast them for 10 minutes. Place the bread, hazelnuts, garlic, and parsley in the bowl of a food processor, and process the mixture until it is finely chopped.
  • At serving time, add the bread and the hazelnut mixture along with the reserved vegetables to the beef mixture in the pot. Mix well, bring the daube to a boil, and cook it gently for 5 minutes to heat it through completely. Add the capers, olives, and tomato, cook 1 additional minute, and serve immediately.

Serves 4

Recipe Courtesy of Jacques Pépin's Table, KQED Books & Tapes, 1995 -
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