Provençal Red Wine Daube
Most of us who actively collect wines inevitably end up with bottles that, while totally drinkable, are decidedly less drinkable than others. Sometimes we lose interest in a wine, or we forget about them in the back of the cellar and the wine loses its luster. The reds in this collection are affectionately known as "dead reds." In reality, these wines are far from dead. Cooks can profit from the rich and fruity flavors still inherent in the wines and use them in cooking.
In Provencal cooking, the most traditional use of wine is in the red wine daube, where the color, fruitiness and heartiness of a dense red wine serves to create a thoroughly delicious and memorable sauce for a beef stew. In this recipe, shared with Patricia Wells by her local butcher, Franck Peyraud, the beef is marinated in red wine, oil, herbs and spices for 24 to 48 hours, then cooked long and slow over very low heat. The resulting meat is meltingly tender, while the stew is set off with the bright, fresh flavors of orange zest and marinated olives. Patricia Wells likes to serve this with penne pasta, which absorbs the rich sauce nicely. When she takes the time to make this stew, she always make a big batch since any leftovers freeze well.
Slideshow: Affordable Meat Recipes