There is something about braising beef that is so delicious and comforting. This weekday dinner dish is totally reminiscent of our dinner visit to a Moroccan restaurant that we dined at in San Jose about 2 years ago. Morocco’s had family-style dining, belly-dancing, soooo many tasty dishes to enjoy that you will have more than your fair share and plenty of wonderful sangria. It was quite an amazing dinner with great friends that has left a lasting foodie memory for me. One of my favorite dishes that we enjoyed that night was the beef tagine which was stewed chunks of beef served with vegetables and apricots and dates. It had a nice sweetness and fruity aroma that was truly intoxicating. I have been wanting to recreate that dish ever since I had a taste of it.
The most recent copy of Cooking Light had a recipe for a healthier version of beef tagine, and I knew it was meant to be. Traditionally, to cook beef tagine – you need the fancy tagine pot, but I find my large heavy duty Dutch oven to work just perfectly, too. I wanted to incorporate more of the distinct flavors that I remembered about this dish, and included a couple more spices and red wine and braised the dish instead of cooking it over the stovetop. I found an inexpensive cut of beef and turned it into a fabulous and healthy meal for my husband and I. The beef tagine was quite tender and flavorful and complimented the aromatic vegetables and paired wonderfully with the side of scallion couscous. Truly a wonderful and exquisite meal.
Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
Adapted from Cooking Light January 2010
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups red wine
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 (8 ounce can) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
3 cups butternut squash, frozen about (1 pound) or you can use fresh
1 bag of pearl onions, frozen (1 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a medium bowl, combine the paprika, cinnamon, salt, pepper, ginger, turmeric, cumin, red pepper with the beef cubes and toss well to coat.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
In a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the extra-virgin olive oil. Add seasoned beef and shallots, cook for 4 minutes or until browned. Stirring occasionally as needed. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, be careful not to brown.
Add in the red wine, and let it reduce a bit. Stir it up to remove the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Add in the chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Cover and place in oven for a total of 60 minutes, midway cooking time (about 30 minutes) add the frozen squash and pearl onions. Cook for another 25 to 30 minutes until the squash is tender.
Garnish with cilantro. Best served with scallion couscous.
Yield: 6 servings (about 1 1/2 cups)
Nutritional Info: Calories:249; Sugar: 6g; Carbs: 18g; Fiber: 4g
1 cup uncooked couscous
¾ cup chicken broth
1 ¼ cup water
1 tablespoon of scallions, chopped
Bring the chicken broth and water to a boil. Add a cup of couscous and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes and fluff with a fork. Garnish with chopped scallions.
Review: Hmmm, this meal brought me right back to Morocco’s! We absolutely loved it and made for a hearty and delicious meal, and we had tons of leftovers. There are lots of Moroccan dishes that I’m inspired to make now and maybe I can convince Eric to purchase a tagine pot for my upcoming birthday. ::wink wink::