Daube de Boeuf À la Gasconne (Gascon-Style Beef Stew)

  • Serves

    serves 6-8


This rich beef and root vegetable stew is made with armagnac, chocolate and, traditionally, madiran wine. We use pinot noir instead for a lighter, more nuanced version. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with David McAninch's article First Night.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Soups and Stews


  • 3 oz. slab bacon, cut into 1/2″ matchsticks
  • 3 12 lb. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 2″ pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 10 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 13 cup armagnac or another brandy
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 (750-ml.) bottle light-bodied red wine, such as pinot noir
  • 3 sprigs parsley
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • Cheesecloth, for herbs
  • 2 oz. roughly chopped dark chocolate
  • 3 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 4 oz. porcini or white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • Country bread, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Heat bacon in an 8-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat; cook, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp, 5–7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside. Season beef with salt and pepper. Working in batches, cook beef, turning as needed, until browned, 12–14 minutes. Transfer beef to a bowl; set aside. Add garlic, carrots, parsnips, and onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelized, 10–12 minutes. Add armagnac; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of pan, until reduced by half, 1–2 minutes. Add stock, wine, salt, and pepper; boil. Place parsley, thyme, bay leaves, and rosemary on a piece of cheesecloth; tie into a tight package and add to pan. Return beef to pan and reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered slightly, until beef is very tender, 2–2 1⁄2 hours. Uncover and stir in reserved bacon, plus chocolate, salt, and pepper; cook until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes more. Keep stew warm.

Step 2

Melt butter in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 4–6 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir into stew. Ladle stew into bowls; serve with bread on the side, if you like.

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