Rick Stein's Rhône Mariners' Stew with Anchoïade

This traditional French recipe combines melt-in-the-mouth beef with roast tomatoes and anchoïade to create an intensely flavourful stew.

Rick Stein’s Secret France
A culinary journey across France with Rick Stein
All of your favourite recipes from the BBC series
Secret French recipes alongside authentic classics

Introduction

Ariane Griffon and her son Paul run cookery classes from their 500-year-old farm in Puget sur Durance, Provence; they also make lovely olive oil. I was invited to have dinner with Ariane, Paul and a number of their friends, and the meal was preceded by an almost solo cookery lesson on real Provençal cuisine. They prepared anchoïade, fenouillade and stuffed tomatoes with persillade, everything built around a magnificent Rhône mariners’ beef stew. The stew was delicious but requires two bottles of white Côtes du Rhône so I simply don’t think anyone will cook it like that over here; it’s too expensive and actually I need red wine in a Provençal stew. However, finishing a stew with anchoïade is so rewarding and I think accompanying it all with these very slow-cooked tomatoes is pretty special too. What I have stuck to is the long marinading and cooking time for the stew, and if you’re interested, the wine they used was Maison Tardieu-Laurent Côtes du Rhône Blanc Guy Louis. I couldn’t bring myself to empty a bottle or two of this wine into a stew. Sorry, Paul. Start preparing this dish a couple of days before you want to eat it.

Serves 6

Ingredients

1kg onions, sliced
2kg chuck steak, cut into 6–7cm chunks
4–5 fresh thyme or oregano sprigs
2 bay leaves
5 cloves garlic, 25g, chopped or sliced
100ml olive oil
zest of 1 orange
750ml Côtes du Rhône red wine
750ml beef stock
200g bacon lardons
salt and white pepper
For the Tomatoes Provençal:
A large handful of flatleaf parsley
5 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
6 large tomatoes
salt and black pepper
For the Anchoïade (also known as Beurre d’Avignon):
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
3 salted anchovies
100g butter, softened
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Instructions

Mix the onions, meat, herbs, garlic, oil, zest and wine in a bowl. Season with white pepper and leave to marinate for 24 hours.

The next day, preheat the oven to 150°C/Fan 130°C. Pour everything into a flameproof casserole dish, bring to a simmer on the hob, then transfer the dish to the oven for 4 hours. Remove from the oven, leave to cool and then refrigerate.

The following day, preheat the oven to 150°C/Fan 130°C. Add the stock and lardons to the stew and bring it to a simmer on the hob as before. Put the dish in the oven and cook for a further 2 hours.

The tomatoes can be cooked at the same time. Chop the parsley with the garlic very finely, then mix with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Cut the top third off the top of each tomato (reserve the tops for a sauce or stock) and spoon over the parsley mixture. Place the tomatoes in a baking dish and cook for 1½ hours.

For the anchoïade, put the garlic in a pestle and mortar and pound it to a paste, or use a food processor. Add the anchovies and pound again to combine. Add half the soft butter and mix again, then add the remaining butter and continue to blend. Add the mustard and mix well.

Serve the stew with the tomatoes, pommes purée (page 239 of Rick Stein's Secret France) and a bowl of anchoïade so everyone can help themselves.

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