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Beef Tagine

The quintessential Moroccan dish, which you don’t actually need a funny shaped pot for. We cooked this back in April when it looked like Spring, and the prospect of lighter dishes, was never going to arrive. Serve with lots of couscous (or bread if you want to be more authentic).

Beef Tagine – serves 4-6

  • 600g stewing beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • small bunch of coriander
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 800ml vegetable stock
  • 1 small squash
  • 100g prunes, stoned and roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

FOR THE SPICE RUB: 

  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 tbsp ras el hanout spice mix
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika

Mix the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover and leave in the fridge overnight (or for as long as you have).

Heat some olive oil in a heavy-based casserole and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, cover and reduce to a simmer for 1½ hours.

Add the squash, prunes and remaining stock and continue to cook for another 1½ hours. You might need to add a splash of water if it starts to dry.

If the tagine looks to runny you can simmer for 5-10 minutes with the lid off to thicken. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve scattered with the coriander leaves and toasted almonds.

Wine Suggestion: A youthful and vibrant red Rioja would do the trick here: find either a joven or crianza with lots of primary fruit. Our pick was the Paco Garcia Seis 2012 – vibrant and youthful with juicy dark fruit and an attractive inkiness. The tannins were perfectly ripe and complimented the beef and the juicy fruit and spice in the wine worked with the spices in the dish. Yum

(Original recipe from Jamie Does by Jamie Oliver, Penguin Books Ltd., 2010.)

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