Wine matching: Daube de Boeuf à la Provençale

Tesco Finest Cotes Catalanes Carignan

Domaine la Condamine l'Eveque Syrah Mourvedre

Domaine La Grapillon d'Or 1806 2012


This is a really handy recipe to have up your sleeve. It’s not expensive, it’s easy to make and freezes really well. It’s also extremely wine-friendly.

The recipe

1kg beef silverside
4 tbsp olive oil
150g smoked bacon, diced
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 finger-sized strips orange zest
600ml red wine
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
250g button mushrooms
20 black olives
salt and pepper

for the persillade:
4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
grated zest 1 lemon

taglietelle, to serve

Serves 4

Pre-heat the oven to 150c/fan-forced 130c/gas mark 1. Dry the beef, cut into large cubes and season with salt and pepper. Heat half the olive oil a heavy, flame-proof casserole and fry the bacon for 5 minutes until golden, remove with a slotted spoon. Add the beef to the pan, in 2 batches and fry over a high heat for 5-6 minutes until well browned. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Add remaining oil to the pan and fry the onions, carrots, garlic and herbs with a little salt and pepper for 10 minutes until softened. Return the meat to the pan with the orange zest, wine and tomatoes. Bring to the boil, cover and transfer to the oven, bake for two hours. Check occasionally that the stew is not drying out and if so add a little water.

Stir in the mushrooms and olives, return to the oven and cook for a further hour until the stew is thick and the meat is tender. At this stage the stew is best left to cool and then refrigerated over night to intensify the flavour. Alternatively transfer straight to the table and scatter over the parsley, and lemon zest garnish before serving.

Matching wines

Tesco Finest Côtes Catalanes Carignan 2013 (£6.99, Tesco)

There are some dishes that are a dream to match with full-bodied reds, and this is one of them. Long, slow cooking in a rich, aromatic sauce is bound to create a dish that’s intense in flavour, so will need an equally concentrated wine to pair with it. A Provençale red such as Bandol would be a no-brainer, but there are plenty of other Southern French wines that would also work well.

Carignan is planted throughout the South of France, and this one comes from the Côtes Catalanes on the Spanish border. This is a typically rich, full, figgy example with a whiff of garrigue that mirrors the herbs in the daube. Carignan has long had a dodgy reputation, but old vines treated with care can produce enjoyable, succulent wines; this is great value at just £6.99.

Domaine La Condamine L’Evêque Syrah Mourvèdre 2013 (£7.75, Oddbins)

Syrah and Mourvèdre are two other varieties that are widely planted across the South; Syrah provides peppery spice, Mourvèdre gives lush texture and fulsome berry fruits. This estate between Béziers and Montpellier in the Côtes-de-Thongue was formally the residence of the Bishops of Agde, but is now owned and run by the Bascou family. It is due to receive organic certification later this year.

It’s a full-bodied wine, but with vivid freshness and plenty of bright blackberry flavour. This vibrancy acts as a counterpoint to the richness of the dish, and would also underline the citrus top notes of orange peel and lemon zest.

Domaine du Grapillon D’Or ‘1806’ Gigondas 2012 (£19.99, Waitrose)

Though easy to match with flavoursome reds, choose something with ripeness and generosity of flavour to match this dish rather than anything too austere. Grenache is the missing grape from our southern French line up, and its spiritual home is the Southern Rhône. Gigondas is an ideal appellation to look for this style of wine. Not far from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, it’s similar in style but tends to be more affordable.

Domaine du Grapillon d’Or is a top producer, and makes wines of balance and finesse out of Grenache, a variety that can be prone to excessive body and alcohol. This particular wine also contains a dollop of Syrah, and displays plenty of strawberry, cherry, raspberry, and fresh herbs on the nose, with a full, flowing texture, all backed up with fine-grained tannins and minerality on the finish. It’s a perfect pairing with the daube.

Based on a recipe by Louise Pickford. First published in Living France magazine.