This recipe is courtesy of Kit Wohl's Cookbook Studio and her book, New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes (Pelican Publishing). Kit appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of WWL-TV’s Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.
This week’s cold snap sent me back to New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes, a treasured cast iron pot and a gorgeous chuck roast. Modern recipes often call for browning the beef in olive oil as opposed to larding with pork fat. It is most often made with a tough, inexpensive cut of meat, rendered fork-tender through slow braising. Combining French braising technique with an Italian red gravy, Beef Daube embodies the turn-of-the- 20th-century marriage between the Sicilian immigrants who poured into New Orleans beginning in 1880 and the settled Italian immigrants who had already established a foothold, dating back to the French era.
This Creole classic differs little from one for Daube d’Italienne, published in 1907 in The New York Times and attributed to Madame Begué, save for her call to serve the Daube over macaroni with a “good grating of Italian cheese.”
Daube is still regularly gloriﬁed at the Christmas table as Daube Glacée, which involves the addition of gelatin and served cold on toast points. It usually made an appearance as an entrée in the Creoles’ Réveillon feast following midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.
Cold and gelatinous or not — we prefer warm — the humble dish can be swanked up by substituting veal eye-of-the-round roast or short ribs for the less expensive beef shoulder, rump, round, or chuck roast traditionally called for. When we ﬁrst prepared this recipe, the “Ah ha” moment was adding tomato sauce — Italian pot roast on fettuccine, albeit somewhat heartier, and richer than a standard pot roast recipe. In the unlikely event that leftovers are available, they make superb beef debris po-boys.
SERVES 4 to 6
1/4 pound salt pork fat
one 5-pound beef shoulder roast
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup minced garlic
1/2 cup bacon drippings or vegetable oil
2 cups diced onions
2 cups diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup tomato sauce
2 cups diced carrots
1 cup dry red wine
1 quart beef stock
fettuccine, cooked for serving
Cut the salt pork fat into 1/4-inch-wide strips about 2-inches long. Using a sharp knife, cut 6 to 8 slits into the shoulder roast. Stuff the slits with the salt pork fat, half the salt, half the pepper, and half the garlic, and season the roast on all sides with the remaining salt and pepper.
In a cast-iron Dutch oven melt the bacon drippings or oil over medium-high heat and brown the roast on all sides. When the roast is evenly browned, add the onion, celery, bell peppers, and remaining garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are wilted. Stir in the tomato sauce, carrots, and red wine. Pour in the beef stock, bring to a rolling boil, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Cook the beef, covered, for 2 1/2 hours, or until it is tender, and season to taste.
Toss warm fettuccine in sauce and serve with the beef.
This recipe is courtesy of Kit Wohl's New Orleans Classic Creole Recipes (Pelican Publishing). Kit appears regularly in the kitchen on the Sunday edition of Eyewitness Morning News, Sundays at 6 a.m.