Fall is here!! Hallelujah! This is my favorite time of year plus I appreciate not burning up in the Los Angeles heat in my 1930s apartment with no air conditioning. One of the costs I pay for my vintage loving, “my apartment MUST have character” discerning self.
With so many festivities and holiday celebrations coming up, Fall is the perfect time to cook good old hearty meals that warm the body and soothe the soul. It’s also the time when I switch out my slow cooker for my Tagine. Since Los Angeles gets Hell hot in the Summer, I use my crock pot or slow cooker to make one pot meals because turning my stove or oven on for more than 15 minutes is completely out of the question.
Yes, this is another Tagine recipe because, well frankly I love cooking with it. Tagines are one of those staple cookwares that every chef from home to pro must have in their arsenal. I just started cooking with Tagines a little over a year ago and it has changed my life. No really, it has. On those days I want to eat an amazing meal that I can survive off of for a few days but I don’t feel like making a huge fuss, I turn to my Tagine. It’s like the slow cooker only faster. You put ingredients in, pop it in the oven for a specified time, and out comes awesomeness.
With that being said, the awesomeness I have to share with you today comes straight from my very own Tagine using traditional Moroccan ingredients that I purchased from the Crenshaw Farmer’s Market from one of my favorite vendors, Hollywood Star Farms. They make a tantalizing selection of exotic sauces like piri-piri, an assortment of spiced ketchups, and my favorite, and the stars of this featured recipe, Moroccan Harissa and preserved lemons. If you are in the Los Angeles area be sure to check out Hollywood Star Farms at the Crenshaw, Hollywood, and Silver Lake farmer’s markets. You’ll love it!
Okay, let’s get to today’s recipe. It’s super easy, delicious, and healthy. Oh and it’s a bit spicy because Harissa contains red chili peppers. We’ll discuss a little more about Harissa but you can click this link, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harissa for more details.
I’m going to show you how to make Moroccan Beef Stew in a Tagine. You can also use ground lamb, chicken, or turkey. For my vegan and vegetarian friends, try tofu or Tempeh.
here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
1/2 tsp Coriander
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp sea salt
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp fresh ginger chopped fine
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp chili paste
2 Tbsp Grape Seed oil
1/2 preserved lemon from Hollywood Star Farms chopped fine, seeds removed
1 jar Moroccan Harissa from Hollywood Star Farms
1 lb Organic Grass-fed ground beef
2 cups red leaf kale chopped
1 eggplant cut in cubes
1 red onion diced
2 red potatoes cut in cubes
2 medium tomatoes diced
2/3 cup fresh basil chopped
I start off by browning organic grass fed beef in Grape seed oil in a hot skillet over a medium flame and then draining the fat using a colander or slotted spoon.
Next I toss in some kale, garlic, ginger, and salt with the beef and cook it until the kale starts to wilt a bit. Then I turn off the flame and set the skillet aside.
In a bowl I mix together one jar of Harissa, chopped preserved lemons, honey, chili paste and spices and set it aside.
*A quick little side note, Harissa is to the Middle East what ketchup is to the United States, a major condiment staple that is served with almost every meal. Harissa is spicy and full bodied and can be served in dishes as an ingredient or as a dipping sauce for vegetables, meats and breads.
*Preserved lemon is another widely used condiment in North Africa and in India. Preserved lemon is basically the Middle Easts’ pickle. It is used to cook with in dishes and can also be eaten with meals. Preserved lemons are very salty and sour and add a little zing to many dishes. I’ve even used them in my pasta sauces and salsas, delish!
Okay, back to the recipe. After cutting up the eggplant, potatoes, red onions, tomatoes, and fresh basil, I add them to the Tagine. Then I pour over half of the Harissa mixture and combine until all the veggies are completely coated.
I add the other half of the Harissa mixture to the beef and kale in the skillet and stir until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
I lay the beef on top of the raw veggies in the Tagine and put the lid on. Then I pop the Tagine in my pre-heated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, I take the Tagine out of the oven VERY carefully because it gets extremely hot!! The veggies are cooked enough to where I am able to remove the lid and stir all the ingredients together. Then I put the lid back on and continue cooking for another 20-30 minutes or until the potatoes are nice and tender.
I remove the Tagine from the oven after 20 – 30 minutes and allow the stew to cool for about 15 minutes before diving in. Serve this Moroccan Beef Stew with flatbread, feta cheese, and Greek yogurt dip OR with steamed Jasmine rice and Plantains like I did here.
To switch it up a bit the next day, try adding some of cold stew to the center of raw crescent roll dough. Fold and crimp the edges making sure none of the filling seeps out. Bake according to the crescent roll instructions on the package, or until the dough is golden brown, for a delicious Moroccan Beef Stew pocket!