Monday, December 21, 2009

Creole Daube and Spaghetti

Spaghetti Daube is a well loved Deep South dish and not surprising because it is such a budget stretcher. A slow braised beef, it is cooked in, then shredded & returned to a lovely Creole sauce. Serve over spaghetti noodles.

Creole Daube and Spaghetti

Daube, pronounced dohb, in its French origins, is simply put, a stew of braised beef. In years past, it was a popular dish amongst the population along the Point Cadet area of Biloxi where my family is from, but I'm afraid that it has gone the wayside with the younger generations, and even those of us in the not-so-young-generation. Too bad, because it is both delicious and definitely not difficult at all to do. While it does take a long, slow cooking period of several hours, you don't really have to tend to it much at all during that time. This meal is also a great budget stretcher as it goes a long way and can feed a nice big family. I can just imagine my MoMo (my mother's mother) serving up a big ole pot of this spaghetti to my Poppy and all those kids of theirs!

My Spaghetti Daube is made from cheap chuck or rump roast (whatever is on sale), and stewed down in a Creole Gravy - a tomato sauce seasoned with The Trinity and a pince of tomato paste browned right in for extra richness. Other herbs and seasonings are added, including just a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Cooked low and slow, it produces a wonderfully flavorful and tender meat that is then shredded and returned to the gravy. This is served over spaghetti noodles traditionally, though you can use other larger pastas such as rigatoni. I add in a bit of beef broth with my Spaghetti Daube, but if you prefer, red wine can be substituted.

When you remove the meat from the gravy to slice it, you can also set aside a few slices for Daube Glace if you like. This daube, encased in a beefy gelatin, is served cold, very often as an appetizer for the Reveillon Feast breaking the fast after midnight mass on Christmas Eve, though that, my friends, is a whole 'nother post! This Creole gravy also works well with a whole chicken.

As in many of our coastal south dishes, we start this one with the familiar Trinity.  Cook that down in some canola until the veggies are nice and tender.

I forgot to photograph the browning of the tomato paste - a pince - but once that is done and cooked for about 5 minutes, you'll add in the tomatoes, tomato sauce and sugar and let that simmer for about 20 minutes.  Add in the seasonings - salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, parsley and bay leaf.

A little grating of nutmeg and stir in the beef broth and Worcestershire. Bring all that to a boil.

Cut the roast in half and toss it in, reduce the heat and let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours or until tender. Once it is tender, remove and slice. If you want to make a small Daube Glacee for your family, set aside a couple of these slices.

Using a couple of forks, shred up the meat.

Return the shredded meat to the Creole gravy and let it low simmer for another 15 minutes, or just hold the daube on low until you're ready for it. Cook the spaghetti noodles and toss with a couple of ladles of the sauce.

Plate the spaghetti noodles and top with the daube. Sprinkle with a bit of Parmesan if you like. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Creole Daube and Spaghetti

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 15 min |Inactive time: 2-3 hours | Yield: About 6 to 8 servings

  • 3 to 5 pound beef chuck or rump roast
  • 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of beef broth (or red wine)
  • Splash of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning (like Slap Ya Mama), or to taste, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tablespoon of dried parsley
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Cooked spaghetti noodles
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional

Set roast aside to come to room temperature.

Pour enough canola oil into the bottom of a heavy, stainless stockpot and heat to medium high. Add onion, celery and bell pepper and cook until softened, but not brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook and stir for about 5 minutes. Using a pair of kitchen shears, coarsely cut up both cans of the whole tomatoes right in the can; add to pot. Add the tomato sauce and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, parsley, and bay leaf. Pass a whole nutmeg over a microplane 3 or 4 times and stir in the beef broth and Worcestershire; bring up to a boil. Cut the roast in half, add it to the pot, cover, reduce heat to a low simmer, and cook for 2 to 3 hours or until beef is tender. Don't allow the meat to boil! Keep it at a very low simmer.

Remove the beef from the pot, slice into 1/2 inch slices (if you are making Daube Glace, reserve some of these whole slices) and then shred pieces with a fork, add the shredded beef back to the tomato gravy. Let it continue to low simmer, covered, another 15 minutes, or just hold the pot on very low until you are ready to serve. You can also leave it as whole slices if you prefer, returning the slices to the gravy to simmer a bit, and then serving the slices on top of the spaghetti noodles, with a bit of sauce spooned over the top.

Boil the spaghetti noodles according to package directions; drain well. Return noodles to pot and add a couple of scoops of the tomato gravy, stirring to coat all of the noodles. Turn the noodles out onto a large platter and pour sauce over the top, or plate noodles individually and add a couple of hearty scoops of the meat and sauce.

Serve with Parmesan cheese at the table for sprinkling on top. Add a mixed garden salad on the side and a nice chunk of hot, buttered French bread.

Tip: If you'd ever had the occasion to end up with watery spaghetti on your plate, the culprit is likely the wet pasta. Don't rinse the pasta, make sure you give it time to drain really well, and wait until pasta is dry and stops steaming. That steam can create condensation and thus water when plated. Also, you can transfer the pasta back to the hot, but empty, cooking pot and place it back over the turned off burner. The residual heat from the burner and the pot will help to dry the water out of the pasta.

For the Crockpot: Place everything (except the pasta and cheese) into the crockpot and cook on low for about 6 hours or until the roast is falling apart tender. Remove, shred and serve over pasta.


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  1. My mouth is watering! I'm so tempted to make this for supper tonight. Have you ever served it over rice?

  2. wow... pulled beef over spaghetti... I am loving this

  3. That is so many levels above good it isn't funny! I am bookmarking this one right now to try later. I tried "roast beef spaghetti" and didn't care for it but that was just plain spaghetti made with roast beef. This is an entirely different recipe here and I can't wait to try it.

  4. Man the meat alone is making me hungry.

  5. Wow, I cannot tell you how long I searched for this recipe. All I could find were variations that looked nothing like the Daube I recall my Grandfather serving for Sunday Supper. I had actually given up on ever finding it and on several occasions, disappointingly failed at attempts to remember him making it. As a proud member of the "Fayard Crew," and the oldest of the grandchildren of my generation, I felt it my responsibility to carry on the tradition of what our elders cooked. Thanks so much! You've made my day.

  6. You're welcome Amber! I'm of course very familiar with the Fayard name being from Biloxi myself & I hope that the taste brings you back to what you remember. Enjoy!

  7. This looks so wonderful. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Now this is what I would call or expect an Italian GRAVY to be like.

    1. It is somewhat similar Mac, but not quite as deeply structured as an Italian Sunday Gravy which I believe usually is cooked with veal, sausage & pork. That meat is removed and used for other meals, though the sauce is served along with beef and pork meatballs that have also stewed in it for hours! I'm sure I'll get around to doing one here someday, but it's pretty involved.

  9. I will love to make this dish for my family.
    I'm very traditional. My grandma and greatgrandma is from Natchitoches, La .This was one of her favorite dishes.

  10. I will make this dish for my family. It a nice dish very traditional. Thank You Mary for sharing your wonderful recipes.

  11. Did not have good luck with this. First off, I opted for the crock pot method thinking it would be more fool-proof than the stove top. I mixed everything for the sauce (tomatoe, veggies, spices) in a giant mixing bowl. I put half of the mixture in the crock pot, laid down the roast, then put the rest on top. I did this to make sure the meat didnt sit on the bottom of the pot and burn. Cooked on low for six hours. Took the meat out to shred and she was tuff as a rock. Instead of shredded beef it was more of a cubed beef pasta.

    Then I sampled the sauce and found it acidy despite the tablespoon of sugar and a bit watery and lacking that depth of flavor I remember about this dish. Before I added my 'cubed beef' back in I got a package of just regular McCormick Brown Gravy mix and mixed it with about 1/4cup of cold water and added it to the mix for more depth and thickness along with another TBL sugar to help with the acid. After that the sauce was real tasty.

    I may have had more luck with the stove top method as opposed to the crock pot. The reason for my roast getting tuff may have something to do with me being at a high altitude location as of now. I am not quite sure. It was pretty good though just didnt go smooth sailing for me.

    I am just glad to see this recipe out there though cause a lot of people dont make it anymore. Thanks.

    1. Hi & thanks for your comments & let me see if I can help!

      Yes, my preference is to cook this in a pot on the stove over slow cooking. Slow cookers tend to cook hot these days over the older ones, so the meat sort of boils there for a bit, taking it longer to cook because boiling toughens the fibers & requires more time.

      The flavor also develops much better on the stove to me, but so many folks love slow cookers, so that is also an option. Using red wine over broth also provides that depth of flavor that cooking with wine typically does.

      Higher altitude cooking is absolutely different & as you probably know, here along the coastline of the Gulf we don't have that issue. I am sure you need to make adjustments in your cooking times, no matter the method or what you are cooking due to that, but unfortunately I just don't know much more about it than that.

      Total times are always only suggestions and is always going to depend on how hot your crockpot cooks as well as the size & weight of your roast, so make adjustments according to how long you typically cook a roast of that same size in your slow cooker on low. The times should always be roughly the same for that cut of meat, no matter the recipe, when you use your slow cooker.

      Chuck and rump are both very tough cuts, needing a longer cooking time, so if the roast was tough at the end of the cooking time, it just means that you needed to cook it longer. Did you remember to cut the roast in half? That does help.

      Acidy sauce would be due to the tomatoes most likely. I only add a little sugar here because most brands of canned tomatoes contain sugar. Check the label on the brands you typically use and see where sugar falls, or if it is even listed. You may need to add more depending on the brand. Adding the additional sugar and also a gravy mix which typically contains sugar is why you found that improved the sweetness.

      I'm not the biggest fan of slow cookers myself - try this again on the stovetop, remember to cut the roast in half, but you'll still need to cook until the roast is fork tender. You'll know when it is!

    2. Just made this for Sunday dinner and thought I would do it in the slow cooker. Came out absolutely perfect, exactly as written above, so the only thing I can figure is that the higher altitude cooking affected your recipe, you didn't use the right kind of roast and/or you just didn't give it enough time to get tender. I do hope that you'll try it again though!

  12. This is very similar to our family recipe except I coat the roast with seasoned flour and brown it first, then add it back to the sauce for simmering. Adapted from Jesse's book of Creole and Deep South Recipes. The flour is supposed to help the sauce stick to the spaghetti noodles. Yum!

  13. Mary, This is a wonderful twist on, believe it or not, an old Italian classic that I grew up with in NYC; Stracotto. That was usually served over either Pappardelle or Fettuccine. I used to make that when I got tired of Yankee Pot Roast. This, however, is our new ‘go-to’ dish. I usually serve it over Fettuccine or Pennsylvania Dutch Egg Noodles. Egg noodles are a little lighter. The only things that I do differently is to dredge the meat in seasoned flour and brown it first. It deepens the flavor of both the meat and the gravy, and also helps to tighten up the gravy. I use only San Marzano whole tomatoes and I use carrots to sweeten the pot; instead of sugar.
    Thanks, yet once again, for a wonderful recipe. God bless.


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