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.
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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