Half-cured Beef Daube

For a special occasion casserole with delectable flavour combinations, try Jean-Christophe Novelli's meaty dish enhanced with herbs, wine and a hint of orange
By Jean-Christophe Novelli
Half-cured Beef Daube
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus standing and marinating time
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 ox cheeks, or 1 kg top rump or chuck beef
  • 1 kg rock salt
  • 2 stick celery
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 bulbs garlic, halved through the middle
  • 500 ml robust red wine
  • 250 ml madeira
  • 250 ml port
  • 200 g acacia honey
  • 3 star anise
  • 1-2 tbsp flour
  • 4-5 tbsp olive oil
  • 100 g pork belly, chopped
  • 1 orange, pared rind
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 litres beef stock
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp liquorice concentrate, to taste
  • crisp-fried pancetta, for the garnish
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper


1. Trim all the skin and fat from the meat. Cover with the salt and leave for 6 hours, turning regularly.

2. Rinse the meat, put in a large bowl, and add the vegetables and garlic. Pour in the wine, Madeira and port. Cover the bowl with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

3. Remove the meat and vegetables, reserving the marinade. Pat the meat dry and dust in a little seasoned flour.

4. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based casserole pan and brown the meat all over. Add the vegetables and fry for a further 5 minutes, or until lightly coloured.

5. In a separate pan, boil up the marinade and skim away any impurities.

6. Add the marinade to the pan with the meat and vegetables. Stir in the belly pork, orange rind and herbs. Cook very slowly on top of the stove for 1 hour.

7. Preheat the oven to 160C/ gas 3.

8. Add the stock to the pan, cover and transfer to the oven for 4 hours. The beef is ready when it falls apart readily when a fork is inserted into it. Remove the meat from its cooking liquor and keep warm.

9. Strain the liquor through a fine sieve into a clean pan and boil until reduced to a syrupy consistency.

10. Stir in the butter and add the liquorice essence.

11. Slice the meat and serve with the sauce. This dish goes well with mashed potatoes or cauliflower puree.

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