Chefs' Recipes

Du Fermier's daube of beef with root vegetables

The Provençal stew to cuddle up to.

By Annie Smithers
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 15 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
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At du Fermier in Trentham, Victoria, chef Annie Smithers makes her own salted pork belly to include in this Provençal stew. We've used mild pancetta for equally effective results.


  • 20 gm unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 kg piece trimmed beef oyster blade or chuck, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 750 ml dry red wine
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 8 baby kipfler potatoes, scrubbed
  • 150 gm piece mild pancetta
  • 16 golden shallots, peeled
  • 16 Swiss brown mushrooms
  • Pinch of caster sugar (or to taste)
  • 12 baby carrots, trimmed
  • 12 baby turnips, trimmed and scrubbed
  • Coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, to garnish (optional)


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt butter and half the oil in a large casserole over medium-high heat. Add beef in a single layer, season to taste, and cook, turning occasionally, until browned on all sides (9-10 minutes). Remove beef from casserole, add onion and garlic, reduce heat to medium and, cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender (5 minutes).
  • 2
    Return beef to casserole with the flour and stir to coat. Add wine, bay and thyme, season to taste and bring to the boil, stirring to make sure there is nothing stuck to the casserole. Cover casserole with a lid and bake for 1 hour, then add potatoes, and bake until beef is very tender (35-40 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, place pancetta in a saucepan, cover with 500ml water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until softened slightly (30 minutes). Drain, reserving liquid, and cut into lardons.
  • 4
    Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add lardons, shallots and mushrooms and cook until the meat and vegetables have a little colour (2-3 minutes). Add reserved pancetta liquid, and sugar, salt and pepper to taste. Add carrots and turnips and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid, leaving a small gap, and simmer over medium heat until shallots are almost tender (8-10 minutes). Uncover and cook over high heat, tossing, until vegetables are tender and shiny from the reduced liquid (3-4 minutes).
  • 5
    Remove meat from oven and skim any visible fat from the surface. Stir some of the vegetables and lardons into the daube and spread the rest on top. Top with a little parsley to serve.