Serves 4-6

This recipe evolved from the boeuf en daube recipe in Clare Ferguson’s lovely cookbook Simply Good Food.  It’s a rich, easy and satisfying meal easily sourced locally during those tough late winter/early spring months.  Feel free to take liberties with the amounts and ingredients here – just watch to be sure you have enough liquid to keep the meat barely covered.

2 lbs beef, such as shoulder, cut into 2 1/2-inch squares
3 TBS olive oil, rendered bacon fat or lard
3 garlic cloves, sliced
3 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
4-5 potatoes, peeled and thickly sliced
2 large onions, quartered
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes in juice
zest of 1 orange, removed in 1 piece
3/4 cup beef stock or water
2 ounces salt pork, cracklings or bacon

Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and saute the garlic, carrots, potatoes & onions 4 – 5 minutes, until aromatic.

Add the meat squares and stir to evenly mix the veggies & meat.

Add the tomatoes, pork, beef stock and set the orange zest on top.  Cover  and simmer gently for 2 hours or until the meat is fork tender and the juices rich and sticky.

Remove the meat and vegetables from the casserole and set aside.  Discard the orange zest.  Bring the remaining juice to a boil uncovered and reduce by half.  Watch carefully during this stage to avoid burning or losing all your liquid.

Recombine and serve with crusty bread and a crisp salad.

Even better the next day!