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Slow Cooker Beef Daube with Orange

Slow cooker beef daube is an old provencal French beef stew that features hints of orange and thyme in a bold red wine sauce.

This is a dish that can sit in the slow cooker all day and be ready for you when you get home, and it gets even better with time so you can make it in advance too!

Portrait close up image of a slow cooker beef daube featuring carrots and whole small onions garnished with parsley

Simple Slow Cooker Classic French Beef Stew

Ain’t no finer winter warmer than a good beef stew and this one hails from the Provence region of France. Traditionally cooked in a terracotta pot called a daubière my version leans on the slow cooker.

France is often known as the home of lah-di-dah fancy food, but it has a wonderful portfolio of comfort food.

Whether it be Coq au vin, coq au vin blanc, chicken forestière or another beefy stew, Beef Bourguignon the French rock homely simple comfort food!

A Traditional Boeuf en Daube or sometimes called daube of beef recipe would have been cooked over several days. Allowing an overnight rest in between each stage to intensify the flavour.

It is definitely a dish that is awesome on the second day. So feel free to double the recipe or even cook it a day before you eat it and store in the fridge overnight.

The prunes and orange zest may seem like an odd addition but they are very traditional variations in parts of France and I love them.

The orange adds a citrus headiness that I also use in my crispy chilli beef. The prunes an almost malty sweetness that balances the tartness of the orange.

Portrait overhead image of a slow cooker beef daube featuring carrots and whole small onions, served with mashed potato and garnished with parsley

Frequently Asked Questions

What cut of beef should I use?

My recipe for beef daube calls for some stewing beef a term that generally means a fairly fatty cut of beef that does a lot of work.

My favourite cut of beef for a stew is shin of beef, it has a lot of connective tissue. When it is slow-cooked this breaks down it adds a body to the resulting sauce that cannot be replicated with another cut.

It is what I use in my traditional British Beef Stew along with so many other recipes, but I regularly make this recipe with beef cheek.

It’s a less popular but wonderful piece of meat if you can get your hands on it. You simply must check out my beer braised beef cheek recipe.

You could even make this with oxtail if you wanted, just treat it in a similar fashion to my rabo de toro recipe.

Does the size of slow cooker matter?

In my opinion yes! If you make this in a larger crockpot there is not enough “volume” to allow the meat to cook slowly and it leads to a tougher piece of meat.

I cook for two and use a 3.7 litre (4 quart) slow cooker.

Do I have to use prunes?

No, they can be omitted, but please do give them a try, they add a wonderful sweet roundness of flaovur to the dish.

Portrait image of a slow cooker beef daube featuring carrots and whole small onions served with mashed potato and garnished with parsley

Serving Suggestions

This slow cooker daube of beef recipe is pure comfort food and the sides should live up to that.

For me, that means a buttery mashed potato although the flavours are also great with celeriac mash.

You could even cross European borders and serve this very French beef stew with an Italian polenta, although I would omit the cheese.

If you wanted to go a little lighter then some steamed greens like broccoli or green beans make a great side dish.

Or maybe just go for a big old bowl and a nice crusty French baguette.

Finally, if you have any leftover gravy, do not throw it away! Freeze it and serve it with sausages and mash, it is awesome!

Landscape image of a slow cooker beef daube featuring carrots and whole small onions served with mashed potato and garnished with parsley

Equipment Used

I only mention brands of equipment if I think that they make a material difference to a recipe. But if you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • 3½-4 Litre Slow Cooker, I use a 3.7 litre (4 quart) one made by Crockpot.
  • 30cm or 12″ frying pan.
  • Chopping board.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Kitchen tongs.
  • Slotted, stirring and serving spoons.
  • Fine mesh sieve.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring jug, cups and spoons.
Square image of a slow cooker beef daube featuring carrots and whole small onions served with mashed potato and garnished with parsley
Yield: 2 Servings

Slow Cooker Beef Daube Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours 45 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 55 minutes

Beef daube is a classic French beef stew, I cook mine in the slow cooker before reducing the cooking liquid down to create the richest of sauces.


  • 350g (12oz) Stewing Beef
  • 250g Small (6 ping pong ball sized) Onions
  • 150g (~1 Cup) Carrots
  • 75 g (6-8 whole) Pitted Prunes
  • 1 Orange
  • 6 Garlic Cloves
  • 3 Tbsp Flour
  • ½ Tsp Dried Thyme
  • ½ Tsp Dried Rosemary
  • ½ Tsp Dried Marjoram
  • ½ Tsp Dried Savory
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ¼ Tsp Pepper
  • 250ml (~1 Cup) Beef Stock
  • 375ml (½ Standard Bottle) Red Wine
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil


  1. Peel, top, and tail the onions.
  2. Peel and cut the carrot into 1.5cm (½") thick coins.
  3. Cut the beef into 2-2.5cm (¾") chunks and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Mix together the flour, dried herbs, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  5. Add half of the oil to a 30cm or 12" frying pan (not nonstick if possible) over a medium heat and fry the carrots and whole onions until they start to get a bit of colour then transfer to the slow cooker.
  6. Add the remaining oil to the pan and fry the beef until coloured on all sides over a medium-high heat.
  7. When browned add the beef to the slow cooker.
  8. Sprinkle over the flour mixture and stir thoroughly to coat.
  9. Turn the heat under the pan to high and deglaze it with the red wine and then pour it over the beef.
  10. Mix the beef stock with the tomato paste and red wine vinegar and pour it into the slow cooker.
  11. Peel the zest from the orange with a vegetable peeler and add it to the slow cooker.
  12. Bash the garlic cloves with the side of a knife then add them to the slow cooker.
  13. Finally, throw in the prunes and bay leaf and stir well.
  14. Have a taste of the sauce and add more salt if required.
  15. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  16. Remove the solids from the crockpot and pick out the beef, prunes, onions, and carrots and set aside, then discard the remaining solids.
  17. Heat a frying pan over a high heat and pass the cooking juices through a fine-mesh sieve and reduce by 10-15%.
  18. Return the beef and vegetables to the sauce bring them back to temperature and serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 696Total Fat: 23gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 923mgCarbohydrates: 72gFiber: 10gSugar: 32gProtein: 20g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Sunday 7th of August 2022

I made this and doubled the recipe. I really like the touch of orange and all the herbs (not just the usual thyme and rosemary). Next time I will make this as a braise so the sauce does not need the reducing step at the end.

Brian Jones

Thursday 18th of August 2022

So glad you enjoyed this Rachel, thanks for mentioning the doubling part, it is helpful for those that are asking that question.

Beth Neels

Wednesday 11th of September 2019

This is the most delicious crockpot stew I have eaten! My mom had a bourginon recipe from Craig Claiborne that was so delicious and I believe I prefer this one to even that!

Brian Jones

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Thanks Beth!


Wednesday 11th of September 2019

The orange zest and prunes in this recipe is a delicious surprise! They add amazing flavor and depth along with the other ingredients to this comforting stew. Great recipe!

Brian Jones

Sunday 15th of September 2019

Thanks Michelle :)

John Taylor

Saturday 7th of September 2019

Hi Brian, Lovely recipe and top notch snapography once again. I've cooked pork knuckles with prunes, but never beef. Will definitely be trying this one out soon. Just wondered, was there was any particular reason you chose to slow cook the beef, rather than fire up your Instant Pot, hob or oven?

Brian Jones

Monday 9th of September 2019

Cheers John, like you I usually associate prunes with pork, but apparently they appear fairly often in the provencal version of this recipe... The first time I had them with beef though was in a Hungarian recipe and they were stunning.

As for the cooking method, there is often no rhyme or reason, it is just the way I decided to develop that particular recipe. I get a bit "bored" with the same old internet tropes that this method or that method is the best, when in reality there are lots of ways to cook any dish and arrive at a great meal.

I usually only include one in each recipe as I typically test each recipe 3 or 4 times before it lands on my site, doing that for 3 or 4 cooking methods would be prohibitive.

So in short, "cuz I could" lol.

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