2012/11/29

Coming up... One Daube...Hold the cheeks, hold the macaroni (French Fridays with Dorie: Beef Cheek Daube w/ Carrots)

Somehow, there was a holiday last weekend.

Runner Girl was home - and magically, the planets lined up in just the right way so that we even got to spend time with her.

There was lots of cooking. Lots of baking. Special requests. Ingredient hunting.

And lots and lots and lots of laundry. I don't know how one tiny little girl can have so much stinking laundry.

Her sister just shakes her head at it all.


Anyhoo... back to ingredient hunting.

I don't know about you, but I never imagined that there would be a day when I was disappointed because I couldn't find beef cheeks in the grocery store.

Beef cheeks.

Wait... Back up.... I never thought the day would come that I would seek out beef cheeks in the grocery store, let alone experience disappointment in not being able to find them...

Yup. I just said that.


I was on a mission to make "Beef Cheek Daube with Carrots and Macaroni" and there were no cheeks to be found. I did secure one very lovely chuck roast.

Confession: I told the peeps that it was pot roast. I have a one eater who very strongly objects to all things stew-like (and I am sure that if I used the word "daube" I would have been the recipient of dirty looks all evening and an uneaten dinner). Sometimes, one must do The Needful in order to maintain balance in the Universe.

That's okay. I used up two cups of  "Some one's" very nice Malbec to make the daube/ stew/ pot roast. One might say that was probably a tad passive-aggressive of me. Or, perhaps one might say I was just being practical and using up a bottle of wine before it took in too much air. It is a shame when too much air happens to good wine, right?

I consider myself to be a practical sort of gal...


Since 3/4 pound of carrots is mighty paltry in my carrot loving world, two pounds went into the pot.

And since I was already "going all crazy" with the chuck roast, rogue Malbec and double carrots it seemed a no-brainer to trade out the macaroni for egg noodles.

I have a very strong opinion about the place of macaroni in this world.

It belongs in one place: macaroni and cheese. Not in goulash. Not in stew. If you are making a mac salad - use rings - or even better, small shells. Keep the elbow macaroni for the mac-n-cheese... Just sayin'


That being said, the "pot roast"- not stew - and carrots over egg noodles was a huge hit in the House of Cher. After dinner, I asked the peeps to guess the secret ingredient (chocolate) and no one freaked out.

The moral of this story: Sometimes, its all in the name... If you call it a "pot roast", they will eat it.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie where a group of home cooks are working their way through Dorie Greenspan's Around My French Table.

25 comments:

  1. Yes I can't help but think "mac n cheese" (or Kraft Dinner as we call it here in Canada) when I see that elbow macaroni. Even just finishing up my post looking at my pics, it looks silly ;) Love your version!

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  2. You put chocolate in your daube...err, pot roast?? Lol, you are always the innovative one, Cher! I never thought a day would come either when I would seek beef cheeks anywhere as an ingredient - hopefully it never will! I skipped this week's recipe (so what's new?) but I loved reading your post as always.

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  3. Indeed it's all in how you market the dish! I have no luck with sourcing beef cheeks either though I have a feeling the ethnic butchers may take special orders. Love the 2lb of carrots! The more the merrier. ;)

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  4. I have the same reservations when it comes to macaroni! The color looks amazing Cher, it´s no wonder it was a hit! And I´m glad you got time with your girl.

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  5. Yeah, the college boy brought back his share of laundry, too...and there were many extra runs to the grocery for milk! Can you imagine if I told my family this was beef cheeks? I just called it stew.

    PS...you outshined us all with your handmade card...beautiful :)

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  6. I have no strong feelings about elbow macaroni. ha! Oddly, Matt took one bite and said, "Is there chocolate in here?" I don't know how he picked that out. I didn't think it was at the forefront. Glad your fam enjoyed it, even if you had to resort to some vocabulary trickery.

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  7. You and I are on the same wavelength - I subbed in some rigatoni because I thought elbows seemed puny and I put in extra carrots! Your "pot roast" looks delish and thank you for my Christmas card! It arrived yesterday!

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  8. I'm glad I'm not the only one who added more carrots! I don't think my meat was tender enough in the end, but the flavors more than made up for it in this dish. It was sooo good! And yours looks delicious even without macaroni! ;) Lovely job!

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  9. And I thought I'd gone through my whole life so far without ever eating pot roast. I guess I had it in the daube. I actually use ziti, now elbows, for macaroni and cheese, just as my mom did. I did use elbows in my daube to expand my husband's horizons. He believes the primary purpose of elbows are for lunch, doused in a generous amount of ketchup (yuck).

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  10. Cher, how wonderful that you got to spend time with your girls and prepared such a lovely looking dinner that everyone enjoyed and, yes, your post is indeed very very funny! It is wonderful that your writing makes me smile each and every time! Have a great weekend!

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  11. I'm with you on the beef cheeks. Never imagined I would be seeking them out. For a mom I don't think there is anything better than having her family together. Even if it often means lots of dirty laundry:)

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  12. Score for pot roast! So happy to hear that the peeps liked this one. My peep liked it too.

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  13. Funny, I had an underestimating experience too with my family. Your right if you present it well, good food is good food. Still laughing about the pot roast....

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  14. ahh I love pasta shapes and the feelings they evoke!! :) There are serious childhood memories that can be associated with certain shapes...

    I'm with you, I'm going to use way more carrots next time!

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  15. Ack! Don't say the L word. I can't understand how two little boys can quadruple the laundry needs of my house. It's the sports, is my guess. Anyway, i love your daube, pot roast, stew, whatever, with the egg noodles. I almost used those, but I am saving it for kugel.

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  16. My family all thought this was pot roast and they loved it. Also added lots of extra carrots and we did the guessing game to figure out the secret ingredient...no one guessed correctly and all thought the chocolate addition was "interesting," but since they had all eaten their dinner and it was good, the chocolate was an OK idea.

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  17. I couldn’t use elbow macaroni either…I just used a corkscrew variety! I laughed when I read your first few lines…I never thought I would ever be hunting down beef cheeks either! Crazy what we do for French Fridays!!
    I so remember when my kids would come home from college with huge bags of laundry…oh how I miss those days!
    Your daube looks so appetizing…so glad you all enjoyed it!!
    Have a great weekend, Cher! BTW…yours was the first card I received…I love the idea of the Christmas card exchange!

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  18. Funny that I come here after writing my post and see you wrote "Sometimes, its all in the name". lol. So true.

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  19. How you market your dish is as important as cooking it! I withheld the "secret ingredient" until everyone had finished (licked clean) their plates and boiled spaghetti for father in law (he thinks everything else is just pasta and unworthy of his attention :0 ) Great job Cher! Have a great time with your peeps!!!!!
    PS: I completely agree about the wine - it is a shameful shame to let air touch it so if your palette cannot touch it, your pot most definitely should :) :)

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  20. It's one of my rules of cooking - never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink. Now, I will drink almost any wine. I am not a connoisseur so I will drink practically anything that isn't labeled "cooking wine". And, that air concern? Definitely agree with you. Whatever works in your household - make it happen. I threw in a pound of carrots and think you were spot on - it will be two pounds next time. This was a flavorful and sudstantial one-blue-dish meal. We both have the same pot!

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  21. LOL - my mother would have told me to get stuffed with the laundry, so you are very good doing it for her. Your stew looks marvellous - very hearty and rich.

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  22. Looks good, I thought the egg noodles would be a better choice for this, but I cooked
    only a bit of elbow mac. and did not combine the two except on the individual plates.
    Pasta swells up too much when left with gravy. Have a great weekend. Back to the
    cards......

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  23. Chocolate is your secret ingredient! Wow!

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