Daube is a larded pot roast slowly braised in wine. The word has the same root as the spanish adobo, which is braising meats in wine or acid. The acids in the simmering liquid help to break down all the sinews and tendons in the meat, which release collagen and make a rich sauce. The larding step helps make the final gravy much richer and it adds flavor to the roast. Rather than dicing the garlic, my grandmother would add entire cloves into the larding slits. She probably went through an entire head of garlic doing this. You can do it that way, but crushing the garlic releases more of the garlic flavor, in my opinion. We used to have this most Sunday afternoons when I was a kid… yum!
1/4 lb. salt pork fat
1 shoulder roast (~5 lbs.)
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered
2 toes of garlic, diced
4 whole bay leaves, ground
1/2 tsp. clove
1/2 tsp. thyme
4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. black pepper
1-2 tablespoons of flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 carrots, peeled, and cut into 1/2 chunks
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 cup dry red wine
1-2 quarts boiling water (depends on size of pot, see below)
2 tablespoons dark roux
First, slice the salt pork into 1/4 inch thick strips. Make incisions about 3 inches long and 1 1/2 inches deep every couple of inches across the surface of the roast. Insert the slices of salt pork into each slit. This is called larding. Finely dice 1 quarter of the onion (about 1 cup) and the garlic. Combine this with the ground bay leaves, clove, thyme, 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the black pepper. Mix this thoroughly. Insert some of this mash into each slit, pressing it into the salt pork. Dust the outside surface of your roast with flour. Next, in a heavy 8-quart pot heat the olive oil. Brown the roast well on all sides. By following this all important step, you are both searing the meat, and you are starting your gravy for later. Add carrots, onion, parsley and remaining seasonings and cook until everything is well browned. Add red wine and just enough boiling water to cover the roast. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for 3-4 hours or until beef is fork tender.
When roast is done, lift it out of the pot with a long fork and allow the juices to drain back into the pot. Set meat aside and allow it to rest for 15 minutes. Remove your vegetables and set aside. Strain the gravy into a large sauce pan and add roux to the saucepan to make a gravy for your roast. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to a strong simmer and allow some of the excess liquid to boil off. Stir constantly. After about 10 minutes of this, you should have a velvety, rich gravy. Slice meat into 1/4 thick slices, serve with vegetables, add some gravy and enjoy.
You may add diced tomatoes to the pot before simmering to increase the dish’s acid content. I added quartered yukon gold potatoes to the pot about 2 hours into cooking (they’ll be over cooked if you add them any sooner).
If you can get real French bread (vietnamese bakeries often have it if you don’t live in New Orleans) you will want to use the leftovers for po’ boys—especially the gravy. Some folks serve daube with spaghetti noodles—either by topping the noodles with the meat and then gravy or by using red gravy in lieu of the daube’s gravy.