Beef tagine

Beef tagine

Serves Serves 4 to 6

  • • 1 ½ pounds stewing beef

  • • olive oil

  • • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • • a small bunch of fresh cilantro

  • • 1 x 14 ounce can of chickpeas, drained

  • • 1 x 14 ounce can of chopped tomatoes

  • • 3 ½ cups vegetable stock, preferably organic

  • • 1 small squash (approximately 1 ½ pounds), deseeded and cut into 2 inch chunks

  • • 3 ½ ounces prunes, pitted and roughly torn

  • • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted

  • For the spice rub

  • • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • • 1 tablespoon ras el hanout spice mix

  • • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • • 1 tablespoon ground ginger

  • • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavor the meat.



When you're ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and cilantro stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in half of the stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.



At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.



Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the cilantro leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.

Method

Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with plastic wrap and put into the fridge for a couple of hours – ideally overnight. That way the spices really penetrate and flavor the meat.

When you're ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole– type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and cilantro stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Tip in the chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in half of the stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½hours.

At this point add your squash, the prunes and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.

Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the cilantro leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous and dive in.

Whether it's delicious vegetarian or vegan recipes you're after, or ideas for gluten or dairy-free dishes, you'll find plenty here to inspire you. For more info on how we classify our lifestyle recipes please read our special diets fact sheet, or or for more information on how to plan your meals please see our special diets guidance.

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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