This one is extra special… Beef Tagine is an alluring labor of love that takes hours to slowly cook and simmer. It’s not your regular stew by any standard.
Brimming with sweet and savory flavors, it’s super fragrant as soon as you start making it. Thanks to all the earthy exotic spices like coriander, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, this stew takes on some amazing flavors from the exotic land called Morocco.
This tastes unlike any other beef stew you might have tried before. This Moroccan Beef Stew is hearty and wholesome, slow cooked for hours, resulting in melt in your mouth succulent beef in a sauce that is magic… Magic created by spices and sweet notes from dried fruits. Intrigued?? Read on…
We love all kinds of comforting stews and pots from all over the world. We have some great innovative flavors in all our stews… Carbonnade Flamande from Belgium, Kedjenu from the Ivory coast, Menudo from Philippines or Maafe from Senegal. These are just some of the mind blowing delicious flavors from around the word.
Today, we’re kinda drawn towards some earthy African flavors, wondering what kind of food we can hunt down from the mother of all lands. Some cozy, super comforting stew is what our heart craves, thinking to go beyond regular beef stew with wine or beer.
We’re contemplating what exotic flavors can go in that stew pot. And just thinking of Moroccan food, we start conjuring thoughts of some slow cooked meat dishes jam packed with flavors cooked gently in their magical pot – a tagine…
What is a Tagine?
A tagine is both the name of a cooking vessel, and of the the stew that is made in it. The tagine is a conical shaped dish very popular in Morocco and Algeria. They are mostly used to slow cook and braise stews with vegetables and meats until meat is melt in your mouth tender.
The conical lid allows steam to circulate during cooking, which creates condensation that drips back onto the meat, fish or veggies, keeping food moist. They come in earthenware, ceramic and metal varieties.
Tagines can be used on the stovetop or in the oven, and for years been used just over charcoal, slow cooking meats into tender submission. Many times they are used as tableware to serve, adding authentic exotic flair.
We’re cooking up a big batch of this Beef Tagine, so instead of using our tagine today we cooked our stew in a dutch oven, which works perfectly for any slow cooking. This beef tagine will take your stew experience to a whole different level.
You will be amazed at how cinnamon can be used so beautifully in savory dishes, rather than just in sweet desserts. Using dried fruits like apricots, prunes, dates and raisins is very typical in Moroccan cuisine. This creates great sweet fruity notes, along with the earthy spices in the stew.
What beef to use for Moroccan Tagine
We always swear by chuck roast for any kind of stew. No other cut would give that tender, melt in your mouth experience like chuck roast after braising it for hours. Try to find a thick cut with good marbling all over. During the long cooking time, the fat cooks down, adding great depth and flavor to the pot.
Ingredients for Moroccan Beef Tagine
- Beef – chuck roast, cut into bite sized pieces.
- Spices – paprika, Spanish paprika (optional, but so good ), cumin, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric. Some of each will be used to season the beef, and some more will go in the stew later.
- Aromatics – garlic, ginger
- Veggies – carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes (we used baby potatoes)
- Garbanzo beans – we love canned Goya brand
- Dried fruits – apricots and raisins, as well as almonds for garnishing
- Flavor enhancers – tomato paste, beef broth, salt, pepper
How to make Moroccan Beef Stew
You will find exact measurements in the recipe card, we will just quickly run through the whole idea here…
Mix spices along with salt and pepper with the beef chunks. Coat well.
Heat olive oil in a pot and sear the meat for about 10 minutes, till it browns up. The minute the meat hits the pot, you will be greeted with amazing aromas coming from the spices and you will be transported to that happy place, anticipating a great meal…
Sauté onions till tender, then add ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add in tomato paste and cook for few more minutes.
Time to add in all the rest of those exotic spices and give it a stir. Mix in the beef broth and canned tomatoes, let it come to a boil, then reduce the temperature, cover and cook for 45 minutes. Here your hard work is done and working on your patience starts… 🙂
The longer you cook, the more tender the meat will be in end. I like to cook my stew pot at least three to three and a half hours. After 45 minutes, add in the carrots and garbanzo beans. Then, after another half hour, add in apricots and raisins.
Every now and then, stir the pot. If you feel the sauce is getting too thick, add in extra water (I added an extra 1 cup). We love this stew thick and hearty, but you can adjust the thickness just the way you like it by adjusting the water.
Add in the potatoes in the last 25 to 30 minutes, so they don’t turn up mushy. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
By now, I bet you’ve dug into the stew a few times and marveled at all the flavor. It’s done when you’re happy with the tenderness of the meat. Ready to serve and impress…
What to serve Moroccan Beef Tagine
Our first choice for this North African stew is the way locals mostly enjoy, over a plateful of couscous. The couscous absorbs the yummy goodness so well.
Storage and leftovers
This is an absolute delight as it sits a few days in your refrigerator. Perfect for making a big pot and enjoying it for a few days. Just refrigerate it in your dutch oven with the lid on, or in an air tight container.
This is great contender for freezing as well. It’s great for 3-4 months in airtight container in your freezer. Just thaw it in the fridge overnight and heat it up again on stove top, adding a little water or beef broth if desired.
Well, are you ready to cook up these new exotic flavors in your kitchen tonight? All I am telling you is, we happily polished it all off in just a few days. The first time we tried it was with just raisins and dates, and couldn’t wait to try it with apricots. Absolutely loved the combo of apricots and raisins.
All that labor of love creating this Moroccan pot is so, so worth your time when all those flavors and aromas starts waffling all around your home. Let me know how it turns up, we love hearing from you. Have fun creating these new exotic flavors in your stew pot…
Beef Tagine, on our Gypsy Plate… enjoy!
Spice Rub for beef
- 2 to 2.5 lbs chuck roast, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 Tbsp oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 cups beef broth
- 2 tsp Spanish paprika (see note 1)
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1.5 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 2-3 carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, drained
- 12-14 dried apricots
- 6 Tbsp raisins
- 8-9 baby potatoes, cut into halves
- Coat beef chunks with all spice rub ingredients.
- Heat olive oil in a pot over medium high heat and sear the meat for about 10 minutes, till it browns up all side. For this, leave it undisturbed for 5 minutes before flipping.
- Add in chopped onions and cook till tender, about 6-7 minutes. Next, add chopped ginger and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook for a few more minutes.
- Add in diced canned tomatoes, beef broth and remaining spices (paprika, Spanish paprika, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, coriander). Combine well. Let it come to a boil, then reduce the temperature to medium low. Cover and cook for 45 minutes.
- Add in carrots and garbanzo beans continue cooking, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Stir in apricots and raisins and cook with the lid on. Every now and then, stir the pot. If you feel the sauce is getting too thick, add in extra water (I added an extra 1 cup). Cook till meat is tender and melts in your mouth, about another 2 hours, depending on the size of the chunks.
- Add in potatoes in the last 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
- If you don’t find Spanish paprika in your pantry, just increase the amount of regular paprika.
Welcome to GypsyPlate! I'm Alpana, former wordwide tour manager and professional caterer, now full time blogger. I love exploring cuisines from around the world, and my recipes have been featured on sites such as MSN, Parade, Brit + Co, CNET and AOL. You can explore my entire collection of sortable recipes in my Recipe Index or learn more about me here.
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