Boeuf à la Mode {FFwD}

Unlike last week’s Salad Niçoise, which came in just under the wire, I made this week’s recipe early. Really early. Like almost three years early. Having tried and loved Dorie’s Go-to Beef Daube, I couldn’t wait to try this version of pot roast. So I first made it and blogged about it back in January, 2011, long before it came up in the French Fridays rotation. You can see the original Boeuf à la Mode post, complete with process photos, here.

But looking over the post myself the other day, I knew I wanted to make it again. Add to that the fact that we just had a side of the most delicious beef I’ve ever tasted delivered, and it was a no brainer.

Boeuf a la mode - Braised

Since the prior post has lots of detail and pictures (including the one above), I didn’t take any new photos this time. But I did make the following changes to the recipe:

  • Rather than marinate the beef and vegetables overnight, I used my FoodSaver Quick Marinator, which did the job in 20 minutes, while I was getting everything else ready.
  • Dorie’s recipe calls for lots of pans and moving things back and forth between them. I’m a lazy cook, so I always look for ways to eliminate extra steps or dirtying needless piles of dishes. I strained the marinade into a saucepan to reduce, then browned the meat, softened the vegetables, and melted down the anchovies all in the Dutch oven that I used to cook the whole thing. After browning the beef, I removed it to a plate, then added the vegetables to the pot (no dumping out and replacing oil here). When the veggies had softened sufficiently, I added the anchovies and tomato paste to the pot, along with a splash of the marinade and stock mixture.  I cooked that until the anchovies and tomato paste were mixed in, then added back the beef and poured in the rest of the marinade/stock.
  • I have this wonderful mushroom stock base that I got on clearance at Williams Sonoma, so I used that in place of beef stock.
  • Finally, out of pantry necessity, I used bourbon instead of Cognac.

This dish was as good as I remembered. Even dad, whose idea of the perfect pot roast is one cooked to mush in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup and dried onion soup mix, said it was delicious. And the dogs had no complaints about the wee bit of broth drizzled over their evening kibble.

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. Check out the website to see what the other Doristas thought about this recipe.


  1. October 20, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    I really like your modifications of the recipe, especially the use of one pot and not numerous, and I’m going to have to look up the Food Saver – mine ended up marinating three days because I missed the part about overnight marinating, and we had plans the other two nights.

  2. Susan said,

    October 18, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Absolutely a favorite in our house & so worth re-visiting! It’s so nice when your family appreciates what you make for them!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      My family appreciates most of what I make, and tolerates the rest!

  3. Alice said,

    October 17, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    LOL “cooked to mush” is exactly how I remember lots of my friend’s parents cooking pot roasts … my mother’s was never fork tender but it was a nicely cooked roast, how funny! 🙂 Great job!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 19, 2013 at 9:49 pm

      Ours was always quite tasty, but I like a roast that you can slice, rather than just shred.

      • Alice said,

        October 20, 2013 at 1:22 am

        That is nice too 😉 I think the fork tender roasts is a long fad that just isn’t ready to go away. …

  4. EmilyC said,

    October 15, 2013 at 11:22 pm

    Love your post and your blog!

  5. betsy said,

    October 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Your pot roast looks fabulous. My dog got actual pot roast cut up in her bowl! I will try chuck, as you suggest, the next time. I’m still trying to work my way through a rear quarter of a cow (in the freezer), so alas, chuck wasn’t one of the cuts that comes from that section. I LOVED the flavor of this though, and will definitely try again.

    • gaaarp said,

      October 14, 2013 at 4:48 pm

      I’m working my way through a quarter, too. We bought a half and split it with a friend, so I got all the cuts (we kept the oxtail and gave her the tongue).

  6. Tricia S. said,

    October 14, 2013 at 1:37 pm

    Those are some lucky dogs !!! So glad to hear this is a favorite. And you peaked my curiosity with the food saver marinator- I read about the food saver and was interested before but now my finger is getting really itchy to pull that trigger 🙂 Great post ~

    • gaaarp said,

      October 14, 2013 at 2:23 pm

      I finally broke down and bought the FoodSaver this year, as I have been buying organic produce from a local farmer and wanted to be able to freeze corn, beans, onions, peppers, zucchini, etc. to have for the winter. One of the best investments I’ve made in a while. It ranks up there with my Kitchen Aid mixer and Vitamix!

  7. October 14, 2013 at 10:43 am

    I tried making this a true one-pot dish… the blackened bits in the bottom of the pan did not help. Washing the pan once was not that big of a hassle in the end 🙂

    I have resisted the temptation to buy accessories for the food saver. You make a good argument for the marinating container. 🙂

    • gaaarp said,

      October 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm

      I debated about the FoodSaver for a long time. A friend of mine who has a high end model talked me into buying the basic model, and it has live up to and exceeded my expectations. I have purchased a number of accessories — the Marinator, jar lid sealers (regular and wide mouth), and deli containers, to name a few. And I’ve been happy with all of them.

  8. Cher said,

    October 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    The pot roast of my childhood definitely involved those onion soup mixes (and was very, very dry…and cooked in a pressure cooker).
    Good idea to repurpose your pot and save yourself some dishes!

    • gaaarp said,

      October 13, 2013 at 1:49 pm

      Our pot roast was always moist — as in, swimming in gravy and fall-apart tender. But it was like eating a block of salt. This one is definitely waaaay better, especially since I took out the “fussy” factor that a lot of people posted about by making is almost a one-pot dish.

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