Beef daube

beef daube I love beef stews cooked with red wine. Red wine adds a depth and flavour that stock alone cannot achieve. So when my mother-in-law bought a batch of brisket for stewing, I could not resist trying out this recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s book – Around my french table. I have made a few changes though, to reduce the alcohol amount and have also added mushrooms to it. Through the long hours of cooking (2.5 hours), the alcohol does boil off a little but a significant amount remains.

I made this recipe at night, let it cool overnight and reheated it the next day. I then added the sauteed mushrooms to it. It tastes even better the next day as the flavours combine. I will definitely be making this fuss-free recipe again.

Beef Daube

Serves 4-6
From book Adapted from around my french table


  • 4 medium slices bacon (cut into 1-inch wide pieces)
  • 1kg beef brisket (cut into 2-3 inch cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 yellow onions (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic head (halved horizontally)
  • 3 large carrots (halved horizontally, then quartered lengthwise)
  • 250ml beef stock
  • 500ml red wine
  • 1 sprig dried thyme (or 2 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400g button mushrooms (sliced thickly)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley


Step 1
Centre an oven rack and preheat oven to 175°C.
Step 2
Put a dutch oven over medium heat and cook the bacon till the bacon just browns. Transfer bacon to a bowl.
Step 3
Dry the beef between sheets of kitchen paper and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp canola oil to the bacon fat and brown beef in batches. Set aside.
Step 4
Pour off oil in pot, add remaining 1 tbsp of oil and heat it over medium heat. Add in onions and cook till onions soften. Throw in the garlic and carrots and stir to combine. Pour in the red wine, scraping up the brown bits from the bacon.
Step 5
Add in the beef stock, beef and bacon, and herbs. Stir and bring everything to a boil.
Step 6
Place a piece of foil over the pot and cover with the lid. Slide the pot into the oven and allow it to braise for 1 hour.
Step 7
Pull pot out of oven, give everything a stir, and return for another 1.5 hours. Season with salt and pepper. (At this point, you can cool the daube to room temperature and chill it for up to 3 days in the fridge).
Step 8
In a small skillet, heat 2 tsp of olive oil and add in the mushrooms and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook till mushroom releases their liquids. Allow the liquids to cook off before adding mushrooms to the daube.
Step 9
Remove the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and garlic head. Serve hot over mash potatoes or buttered rice.

Easy Beef Stroganoff

stroganoff2 There are days where my family feels like having beef for dinner, but steak is well, too heavy. These are the times when I make stroganoff. It is somewhat of a comfort food to us, and I serve it over buttered noodles or rice. I usually use tenderloin, though there is no stopping you from using other cuts of beef such as rib-eye. My mother-in-law buys us nice pieces of tenderloin from Ghim Moh market often enough and so we usually have beef stashed in our fridge.

Even though beef stroganoff sounds like a fanciful dish, it really is quite simple to prepare, and requires but a few ingredients. I must emphasise here that dijon mustard is paramount to the taste of this dish – you must include it. I am not a big mustard fan, but the addition of the mustard in this dish brings out the flavours so much more.


Easy Beef Stroganoff

Serves 3-4
From magazine Adapted from Bon Appetit


  • 600g beef tenderloin (cut into 2X1X1/2 inch strips)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 300g brown button mushrooms (sliced thickly)
  • 1 cup chicken/beef broth (low sodium)
  • 3/4 cups whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • salt and black pepper


Step 1
Dry beef strips using paper towels. In a large skillet, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat. Brown beef strips in batches. Set aside.
Step 2
Add remaining oil to skillet and saute shallots until tender. Add mushrooms and stir fry till liquids evaporate slightly. Season with black pepper.
Step 3
Add in stock and simmer till stock thickens about 10 minutes. Stir in cream and dijon mustard. Add in beef and simmer till heated through.
Step 4
Stir in dill and paprika. Season with salt and pepper.
Step 5
Serve hot over rice or buttered noodles.

What’s your beef?

Thanks to a Groupon voucher, hubby and I had the opportunity to try out this beef buffet at a half of its actual cost. This beef ala-carte buffet serves up five different types of beef – Wagyu, Prime Rib, Ribeye, T-bone steak as well as stewed beef cheek. The steak is cooked to your preferred doneness and served up with three sauces and a small variety of side dishes. Sauces available are red wine sauce, mushroom sauce and creamy blue cheese sauce. Side dishes available are creamed spinach, mashed potatoes, sauteed mushrooms, Barossa salad as well as roasted tomatoes.

Hubby and I enjoyed the steaks – they were done nicely and to the degree of doneness (medium) we requested for. I’ve had bad experiences with places that overcook the steaks and it is nice to find a place that does not. I enjoyed the ribeye steak while hubby preferred the wagyu and T-bone. We both agreed that the beef cheek was stewed perfectly – tender and chock full of flavour.

All the sauces complemented the beef very well; there is something for everyone. For side dishes, I enjoyed the creamed spinach (though not the clump of baked cheese on top), the mash potatoes and the mushrooms. The other two side dishes were rather forgettable.

I would recommend this buffet for serious beef lovers with a large appetite.  I could hardly finish the second round of steak, though my hubby managed three rounds. If you are a small eater like me, this may not be worth your money especially at the full buffet price, $43.90++. Service wise, the branch at Holland Village has a huge room for improvement. Despite a reservation, I had to wait at the entrance of the restaurant for more than 10 minutes, carrying a baby, while waitresses walked up to the counter to collect things but totally ignored me!

“What’s your beef” buffet
Wed and Sundays, 6 – 10pm
22 Lorong Mambong (Holland Village)
8 Raffles Avenue #01-11 (Esplanade)


Daring Cooks March Challenge – Red Wine Braised Beef

After a super long hiatus from Daring Cooks, (now, when was my last challenge?), I’ve decided to embark on this monthly challenge again. The past year has been crazy, and committing to a monthly challenge has been rather impossible. Now that the babe is 1 year old, it’s time for me to return to my monthly cooking/baking challenge.

The March, 2012 Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Carol, a/k/a Poisonive – and she challenged us all to learn the art of Braising! Carol focused on Michael Ruhlman’s technique and shared with us some of his expertise from his book “Ruhlman’s Twenty”. I wanted to cook braised beef short ribs initially but couldn’t find short ribs. Seeing that I had 1kg of old beef sitting in the freezer, I decided to use that up instead. For the braising sauce, I used a combination of 2 cups of red wine (that was all I had left in the bottle) and 1 cup of beef stock. After simmering in the oven for 4 hours, the results were delicious. The beef was absolutely tender and chock full of flavour. I served it over fluffy potato mash and everyone had clean plates at the end of dinner.The picture above does not do justice to the dish – if only I can figure out how to take better pictures using indoor lighting!

I learnt something new in this challenge – gremolata. See that greenish yellow thing that’s sprinkled on top of the braised beef? That’s gremolata, a combination of parsley, minced garlic and lemon zest. It was an amazing addition. It added much freshness to the braise, something I’ve never quite tasted before.