Thursday, February 21, 2013

Moroccan Beef Tagine with Dried Apricots and Warm Spices

Tender beef is slowly simmered with vegetables, chickpeas, dried apricots, raisins.  Add ras-al-hanout, a traditional spice mix and voilĂ - great Moroccan!  A tagine is really just a flavourful, exotic stew.  Serve it with crusty bread, cooling yogourt and the traditional glass of fresh mint tea.

To serve four.

1     tbsp olive oil plus 1 tbsp butter
2     inches of fresh ginger, peeled and finely shredded
1     onion, finely chopped
2     lbs lean beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
1     tsp ras-el-hanout (Morrocan spice mix)
2     sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1/2  cup dried apricots, halved
1/2  cup raisins
1     zucchini, chopped medium
2-3 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1     cup cooked chickpeas
1     preserved lemon, finely shredded
1/2  bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
salt and freshly ground pepper

Browning the meat
Heat the oil and butter in a heavy casserole dish.  Add in the ginger and onion and sautĂ© until soft.  Add the beef and brown it on all sides.  Stir in the ras-al-hanout.  Pour in enough water to cover the meat and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 40 minutes.

Adding the vegetables and chickpeas
Add the sweet potatoes, cover and cook gently an additional 20 minutes, until the meat is tender.  Add the apricots, raisins, tomatoes, chickpeas, zucchini and cook for 10 minutes more..

Sprinkle the preserved lemon and chopped cilantro over the top and serve.

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