Monaco GP - Beef Daube and Champagne

Monaco, oh, Monaco. If ever there were a dream of opulence and grandeur, you are it. With the nearest neighbors being France and Italy and sitting so elegantly on the Mediterranean sea, it is the setting of dreams. I can only imagine walking the streets, eating at sidewalk cafes, seeing beautiful people and even more beautiful cars.

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I was inspired to delve in to my French cookbooks for this year's Monacan Grand Prix. Dorie Greenspan has a way of making all her recipes perfectly comprehensible and doable even if they have 20 ingredients and take 3 hours! This was perfect served with some roasted root vegetables and a tall glass of champagne. 

 

Go-To Beef Daube

Dorie Greenspan's Around my French Table, thanks to Serious Eats I did not have to type all this up!!

4 slices thick-cut bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch-wide pieces
One 3 1/2-pound beef chuck roast, fat and any sinews removed, cut into 2- to 3-inch cubes
2 tablespoons mild oil (such as grapeseed or canola)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 yellow onions or 1 Spanish onion, quartered and thinly sliced
6 shallots, thinly sliced
1 garlic head, halved, horizontally, only loose papery peel removed
1 1/2 pounds carrots, trimmed, peeled, halved crosswise, and halved or quartered lengthwise, depending on thickness
1/2 pound parsnips, trimmed, peeled, halved crosswise, and quartered lengthwise (optional)
1/4 cup Cognac or other brandy
1 bottle fruity red wine
A bouquet garni—2 thyme sprigs, 2 parsley sprigs, 1 rosemary sprig, and the leaves from 1 celery stalk, tied together in a piece of cheesecloth

  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Put a Dutch oven over medium heat and toss in the bacon. Cook, stirring, just until the bacon browns, then transfer to a bowl.
  3. Dry the beef between sheets of paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the bacon fat in the pot and warm it over medium-high heat, then brown the beef, in batches, on all sides. Don’t crowd the pot—if you try to cook too many pieces at once, you’ll steam the meat rather than brown it—and make sure that each piece gets good color. Transfer the browned meat to the bowl with the bacon and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  4. Pour off the oil in the pot (don’t remove any browned bits stuck to the bottom), add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and warm it over medium heat. Add the onions and shallots, season lightly with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the onions soften, about 8 minutes. Toss in the garlic, carrots, and parsnips, if you’re using them, and give everything a few good turns to cover all the ingredients with a little oil. Pour in the brandy, turn up the heat, and stir well so that the brandy loosens whatever may be clinging to the bottom of the pot. Let the brandy boil for a minute, then return the beef and bacon to the pot, pour in the wine, and toss in the bouquet garni. Once again, give everything a good stir.
  5. When the wine comes to a boil, cover the pot tightly with a piece of aluminum foil and the lid. Slide the daube into the oven and allow it to braise undisturbed for 1 hour.
  6. Pull the pot out of the oven, remove the lid and foil, and stir everything up once. If it looks as if the liquid is reducing by a great deal (unlikely), add just enough water to cover the ingredients. Recover the pot with the foil and lid, slip it back into the oven, and cook for another 1 1/2 hours (total time is 2 1/2 hours). At this point the meat should be fork-tender—if it’s not, give it another 30 minutes or so in the oven.
  7. Taste the sauce. If you’d like it a little more concentrated (usually I think it’s just fine as is), pour the sauce into a saucepan, put it over high heat, and boil it down until it’s just the way you like it. When the sauce meets your approval, taste it for salt and pepper. (If you’re going to reduce the sauce, make certain not to salt it until it’s reduced.) Fish out the bouquet garni and using a large serving spoon, skim off the surface fat.
  8. Serve the beef and carrots moistened with sauce.

The round up for F1 related fun times for this week:

One of my all time favorite F1 related media has to be George the Poet on Monaco from 2013. We watch it religiously every year, and get goosebumps with every re-watching. If you haven't seen it yet, you're welcome!

This year with Fernando Alonso making his bold move into American MotorSport this McLaren poster was on point. 

Not to be outdone Ferrari kept their designs gorgeous as ever. 

And last, but certainly not least, graphic designer and artist Chris Rathbone created this excellent contribution for Alonso at Indy!