Tender at the Table

Over warm stew and a glass of wine, folks easily share things that they otherwise keep to themselves. Feelings that seem overly ebullient or stories that seem too sad for public discussion have a safe harbor among folks you’ve mixed, kneaded, risen and broken bread with.

I wish there were an app for downloading the photos in my brain.  The ones where I look down at this gorgeous somethingerother that I've made and think "dude, where's my camera"? seconds before it disappears.  Last night's class at Pacific Culinary Studio was rather petite, but that didn't mean I had even a second to spare for shutterbugging.  Regardless, we made some great food and I did snap off one shot of our multi-course meal.  This is our Daube Provencale. 

Daube Provencale

All of last night's noshing aside, I was very struck last night at how quickly a friendly dinner-making-and-eating affair  becomes very personal.  Over warm stew and a glass of wine, folks easily share things that they otherwise keep to themselves.  Feelings that seem overly ebullient or stories that seem too sad for public discussion have a safe harbor among folks you've mixed, kneaded, risen and broken bread with.  I guess that's not such a surprise seeing as how food is love, down at the very sweet and savory little heart of it all.  But it always gives me this sweet moment of "huh, ain't that cool."  Followed very quickly by, "man, I love my fuckin job."  Please enjoy.


Daube Provencale

  • ·        
    1 oz dried porcini mushrooms, rehydrated in hot
    water (reserve liquid)
  • ·        
    3 lbs. boneless beef chuck, cut into 1” chunks
  • ·        
    1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ·        
    3-4 grinds of freshly ground black pepper
  • ·        
    ¼ cup olive oil
  • ·        
    4-5 pieces bacon, chopped
  • ·        
    4 large carrots, trimmed into discs
  • ·        
    2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • ·        
    2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • ·        
    1/3 cup AP flour
  • ·        
    1  bottle
    (750 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
  • ·        
    1/2 cup chicken stock
  • ·        
    Zest from one orange, cut into thick strips,
    pith removed
  • ·        
    1 cup pitted nicoise olives, rinsed
  • ·        
    1 tsp. chopped anchovy fillets
  • ·        
    5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • ·        
    2 bay leaves
  • ·        
    1 can whole stewed tomatoes, chopped (reserve
    liquid)
  • ·        
    Chopped fresh Italian parsley (optional)

In a large (5-7 qt) pressure cooker, heat 2 Tbsp. oil until
shimmering.  Salt and pepper the meat and
brown it, in stages, in the oil.  Remove
browned beef to a separate plate as you proceed.   When all of the meat is browned, add
remaining olive oil and bacon to the pan, followed by the carrots and
onions.  Saute until limp.  Return the beef to the pan.  Add the tomato paste and stir it well into
the beef and vegetables, allowing it to brown slightly.  Sprinkle the flour over and stir well to
coat.  Add wine and stock and stir well
to dissolve the flour and incorporate the paste.  Add the orange, olives, anchovies, thyme, bay
and tomatoes.  Cover pressure cooker with
lid and cook on high vent for 30-40 minutes. 
Remove lid and transfer to a serving dish.  Remove bay leaves and thyme if desired.  Sprinkle with parsley if using and serve with
noodles or crusty bread.  Serves 8-10.

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