From Arles, the town so bright and sunny it cheered up Vincent Van Gogh, comes this delightful beef stew. I bet Vincent even ate this. When he wasn’t killing himself with absinthe.
I love beef stew and am always happy to find something new. The “new” here is herbes de Provence, hazelnuts, capers, and Nicoise olives.
This recipe is not without its head-scratching mysteries though. One: baby carrots? I thought baby carrots were just regular carrots trimmed down by some kind of root-vegetable-processing technology. Weirder still, he asks you to peel them. I’m beginning to think he does not mean those little carrots in the bags that you buy thinking that this is finally the week you’re going to bring your lunch to work and eat healthy. I’m beginning to think he means some kind of amazing young carrot that you can only buy in the south of France from mid-May through May 28th. Oh well, I just threw in the ones we all know and love.
Second: on what planet, I ask you, do “12-15 hazelnuts” equal “about 2 tablespoons”? I thought and thought about that one and just could not figure it out. Because I love nuts, I went with the larger amount and chopped up 12-15 hazelnuts.
I also decided that this would all be excellent with an additional piece of toasted baguette under it all. And I was right.
Beef Daube Arlesienne is on page 323 of Essential Pepin.