Taureau des Gardiens, a.k.a., slow bull, or Provencal cowboy stew

IMG_8859There were two tour leaders on my recent trip.  One was the author Kathleen McGowan and t he other was her dear friend Isobel Denham.  Isy has a wicked sense of humor and a musical voice.  One day we piled onto the bus, hot and exhausted from a climb up Ste Baume and Isy calls out over the PA, in a trilling voice, “I need to send our dinner order ahead to the restaurant in Stes Maries-de-la-Mer.  Who wants slow bull?”Yes, that’s what she said.  Slow bull.  Yummmm.  Sign me up.

The Camargue (pronounces Com-ARGH) region is populated by wild white horses, black bulls, and migrating pink flamingos.  It’s the reputed site where Mary Magdalene landed in France, along with St Mary Jacobi, St Mary Salome, and St Sarah.  The place is alive with music (think Gypsy Kings on every corner), sun, and Mediterranean chill.

IMG_8864(yes, the sky was really that blue)

This is my re-creation of slow bull.  Hands down one of the best meals I had in France. Oh, this was my salad.  I never eat raw tomatoes, but I finished half of this.  Amazing:


What they served me, with a nice side of local Camargue rice.


My version:


Taureau des Gardiens

I didn’t brown my stew meat.  If you prefer to do this, brown the meat in the cooking fat of your choice, remove, then cook onions.


  • 3 lbs lean stew beef
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp avocado oil or lard
  • 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1-2 cups decent red wine (I used the empty can from the tomatoes to measure)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups carrots, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup black olives, drained and pitted
  • 1 cup chicken or beef broth
  • 3 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 Tbsp Herbes du Provence
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp worcester sauce
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves


  • Heat Dutch oven on stove top over medium heat.
  • Add avocado oil or lard.
  • Cook minced onions and garlic until soft and just beginning to caramelize.
  • Throw everything in pot or crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Bon apetit!

About Jill R.

Mom, mostly tired, to 3 boys, mostly wired. Pretty much obsessed with healing foods for healthy brains.
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