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Daube Provençal is a timeless slow-cooked dish marrying the rich flavor of lamb or beef with layers of aromatic garlic, onions and spring vegetables. Infused with a flavorful wine marinade, the classic stew was traditionally prepared in a substantial clay daubière and placed in embers of an open hearth at home (or transported to the communal village oven) for the required hours of gentle braising. With this recipe, you can achieve equally delicious results using an electric slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 7 peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 bottle red Côte du Rhône wine
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 yellow onions, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 4 lb. lamb shoulder, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 12 baby carrots, peeled
  • 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • 1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes with juices
  • Toasted country-style bread for serving

Directions:

Tie the peppercorns and bay leaves in a piece of cheesecloth or place in a tea ball. In a large bowl, combine the wine, half of the garlic, the onions, peppercorn packet and lamb. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb to a plate. Strain the marinade through a fine-mesh sieve. Discard the peppercorn packet, and reserve the wine, garlic and onions.

Season the lamb with salt and pepper. In a stovetop-safe slow-cooker insert over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil until almost smoking. Working in batches, brown the lamb, 3 to 5 minutes per batch; transfer to a plate. Add the reserved garlic and onions, the remaining garlic and the carrots to the insert and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes. Add the reserved wine, the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil, then add the lamb. Set the insert on the slow-cooker base, cover and cook on high for 6 hours.

Skim the fat off the sauce. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the lamb and vegetables to a bowl and cover with aluminum foil. Set the insert over medium heat and simmer until the sauce is thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the lamb and vegetables. Ladle the daube into warmed bowls and serve with toasted bread. Serves 8.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.