1kg beef cheeks, cut into large chunks
2 onions, quartered
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots, thickly sliced
25g dried cèpe mushrooms
400ml tomato passata
1 tablespoon of tomato purée
40ml/2 tablespoons of olive oil
½ bottle of red wine
60ml red wine vinegar
60ml/3 tablespoons brandy
1 bouquet garni (celery stick, bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, parsley and orange peel tied together)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Cut the beef into large chunks and put into a large pan with the onions, garlic, carrots, salt and pepper. Add the wine, vinegar and brandy and leave to marinade overnight.
2. Strain the meat and vegetables, keeping the marinade aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy casserole dish over a gentle heat, add the meat and vegetables and cook until the meat is browned, stirring occasionally. Add the bouquet garni.
4. Pour the marinade into a large shallow pan and bring to the boil. Flambé it and pour it over the meat.
5. Add the passatta, the purée and the dried cèpes, and stir through. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Cover with foil and a tight-fitting lid and cook in a very slow oven (140°F/275°F, gas mark 1) for about 2½ hours.
7. Serve sprinkled with chives or parsley and (optional) a little grated parmesan
"This is my interpretation of a traditional Daube. You can add bacon and also some stoned black olives – in the last half hour of cooking. It can be served with pasta, rice, gnocchi, polenta or mashed potato. This is definitely a dish which improves with age – it’s always better the next day."