Beef Tagine with Prune and Orange

Beef Tagine

OK this recipe is not one of those 15 minute quick ones that you can whip up when everyone’s tummy is already rumbling.  It is nice to cook this on a leisurely Sunday lunch perhaps, and enjoy with your family. You can use any beef cut but the recipe uses chuck steak, which is not dear, and will be tender by the end of cooking.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

700 grams chuck steak, trimmed and cut into serving cubes

2 medium onions, cut into wedges

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 teaspoons Moroccan seasoning

2 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

10 cm strip orange rind

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 cups beef stock

1 cup pitted prunes

1 cup Sicilian green olives (this type of olives do not get soggy – I prefer the ones with pits but I do warn them about this, but you can use the pitted ones if you want)

Procedure:

Heat half the oil in a heavy based saucepan over high heat.  Cook steak in batches, for 4 to 5 minutes or until browned.  Transfer to a bowl.

Heat remaining oil in pan.  Add onion.  Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until onion has softened.  Add garlic, seasoning, coriander, cumin and orange rind.  Stir while cooking, for 1 minute.  Add tomato paste.  Stir while cooking for 1 minute.

Return beef and its juices to pan.  Add stock and 1 cup cold water.  Cover.  Bring to the boil.  Reduce heat to low.  Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.  The mixture would be runny and watery.  Add prunes and olives.  Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 1½ – 2 hours or until steak is desired tenderness.  The mixture will slowly get thicker.  Add little water if meat is not yet as tender as you want, and sauce gets too thick.

Remove and discard orange rind.  Serve with mashed potatoes or boiled rice.

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