From Astana to Bordeaux
I got my inspiration for this dish from talking with Roman and Katia. We met them on holiday in France earlier in the year. We were on holiday, they are certainly not. They have made a brave decision to leave their beloved Kazakhstan and to forge a new life for their young family in the Bordeaux region of France. They have huge energy and dedication. They have invested in a number of vineyards and are completely committed to developing a sustainable, profitable and enjoyable business.
Vendange Inspired Daub
I wanted to cook something that ties to the grapes. Though this year, the annual harvest, the “vendange” in French, will yield a very small crop, the work will be no easier. After a long day in the fields, a hearty stew is the order of the day. This daub (slow cooked stew with thick gravy) will feed at least six and really fits the bill.
Ingredients for Beef Shin and Bordeaux Daub
- 1.5 kilos of bone-in beef shin
- 4 onions
- 4 carrots
- 4 stalks of celery
- 500 grammes of mushrooms
- 500ml of top quality beef stock
- 250ml of red wine
- 1 tablespoon of flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sweet paprika
- 3 bay leaves
- A little oil
Method for Beef Shin and Bordeaux Daub
Trim and slice the onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms into large-ish chunks. (I cut the onions into eights and matched that size roughly with everything else). Cut through the membrane on the edge of the beef shin. This will stop it curling and helps heat distribution when browning. Season the flour with half the salt and pepper. Dust the beef with the seasoned flour.
Heat a large casserole and brown the beef on both sides.
Remove the beef. Add the onions and turn the heat down. Place a lid on the casserole and let the onions soften for about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots. Cover and soften them for about 5 minutes too. Remove about half of the vegetables. Add in half the beef. Add back the vegetables. Add the balance of the beef. This gives a nice layered effect that will allow a lot of flavour transfer between the ingredients.
Place the mushrooms on top and add the balance of the salt and pepper, the paprika, the stock the bay leaves and the wine.
Sprinkle the remaining flour over the top. Cover and place this in a 160º (320ºF) oven and leave it for six hours or so.
This is an extremely tasty dish. The bones and the marrow add a lovely depth of texture and flavour to the dish. I served it with some floury potatoes. We enjoyed it with a couple of glasses of Chateau Moulin de Bel Air. The wine was a present from our new Kazak friends, the new owners of the vineyard. I hope they continue to produce wines as lovely as this. Try the beef shin and Bordeaux daub. While it takes six hours to cook, you don’t have to stand over it. It is really delicious and like being successful in the wine business, worth the wait.