Margarita's International Recipes


Daube de Boeuf à la Gasconne

Gascon-style Beef Stew

I love stew but this one wasn't as impressive as I would have expected from the fact that it was French and was a bit more complicated than my usual stew fare. It definitely needed the chocolate at the end to bring all the flavors together. It was good, don't get me wrong, but rather prosaic.

Gascon-style Beef Stew


  • 3 1/2 lbs beef chuck, cubed into 2" pieces
  • kosher salt & black pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 oz slab bacon, cut into matchsticks 1/2" wide
  • 10 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 2 parsnips, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1 onion, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/3 cup armagnac or brandy
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 bottle Madeira or red wine
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz white mushrooms, quartered


Season beef with salt and pepper and set aside.

Prepare a bouquet garni with the parsley, thyme,bay leaves and rosemary sprigs - either by placing them into a pouch made from cheesecloth or by tying them together. Set aside.

Heat bacon in a large cooking pot over medium heat until crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon to a paper towel and set aside.

Add the beef to the bacon fat in the pot and brown on all sides, you may need to do this in batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove beef and set aside.

Add the garlic, carrots, parsnips and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the armagnac, beef stock and wine. Add salt and pepper to taste and bring to a boil. Return beef to the pot and reduce heat to low. Partially cover and cook until the beef is tender, about 2 hours.

Melt the butter in a small frying pan and add the mushrooms. Cook until golden. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Add reserved bacon and chocolate to the stew. Cook until the chocolate melts, about five minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the mushrooms. Serve.

Adapted from a recipe at Saveur

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