- 4 anchovy fillets, rinsed
- 1/4 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons drained capers
- One 28-ounce can Italian peeled tomatoes, drained
- 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 8 to 10 large garlic cloves, thickly sliced
- 6 French cornichons or small gherkin pickles, thinly sliced
- Fine sea salt
- 1 bottle (750 ml) white wine, preferably a Rhône Valley Sablet
- 1 dried imported or fresh bay leaf
- 1 huge fresh thyme sprig
- 2 pounds boneless braising beef in 1 piece, such as beef shoulder, chuck, blade, neck, rump or brisket, cut against the grain into six 1 1/2-inch-thick slices
- Freshly ground pepper
- Cheesy Semolina with Bay Leaf, for serving
How to make this recipe
Soak the anchovies in the milk for 10 minutes to soften and remove excess salt. Soak the capers in cold water for 10 minutes to remove excess salt.
In a large bowl, combine the tomatoes, onions, garlic and cornichons. Drain and rinse the anchovies and capers and add to the bowl. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt and toss with a wooden spoon to blend, lightly breaking up the tomatoes.
In a large nonreactive saucepan, simmer the wine to cook off the alcohol, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, spread about one-third of the tomato mixture in a large, heavy, nonreactive flameproof casserole. Add the bay leaf and thyme sprig and set 2 pieces of beef on top. Season lightly with sea salt and pepper. Repeat with the remaining tomato mixture and beef to make 2 more layers. Pour in the simmered wine.
Cover and bring to a simmer over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer gently until the meat is very tender, about 4 hours. Check the daube from time to time, stirring the ingredients and distributing them well to keep the meat submerged; do not let the mixture boil. Discard the bay leaf and thyme. Serve with the Cheesy Semolina with Bay Leaf.
Let the daube cool thoroughly, then cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Before reheating, scrape off any solidified fat. Cover and rewarm over moderate heat.
Serve the white wine used in the recipe. Otherwise, serve a young red, such as a Côtes du Rhône.