This was a sumptuous meal for a Tuesday night and a relatively easy one too. Once I had got the tagine together and up to the boil I popped it in the oven then ran out to do school pick ups, preschool pick ups, swimming classes and back home to throw in the prunes and olives. I then let it bubble away gently without a lid on the stove top whilst I attended to a salad, prepared the couscous and organised kids baths and homework etc.
Elliott has been sick and just yesterday I started to feel under the weather too and this was such a warming meal. The zingy preserved lemon and olive salad goes beautifully with any tagine and I will post up that recipe tomorrow.
The prunes are sweet and make this dish so good. Don’t skimp on them. I did chop the prunes in half or in quarters as I wasn’t sure the kids would be too happy about finding a whole prune on their spoon. Likewise the olives were sliced roughly. I had a lonely sweet potato in the fridge so I peeled and chopped it and it was right at home amongst the spices, orange zest and prunes.
You can make this just in a casserole dish or French oven. I brown the meat and saute the onion in a big cast iron pan and then add everything to the tagine. I then bring everything to the boil on the stove top and pop the lid on and leave it in the oven to cook.
The original recipes just cooks everything on the stove top. I like the oven so I dont’ have to be around to keep an eye on it but either way gives you the same result.
beef, prune and orange tagine
(slightly adapted from a recipe of the same name over at taste.com.au)
4 tablespoons olive oil
700g chuck steak, trimmed and diced into 3cm pieces
2 brown onions, sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 teaspoons Herbies Tagine Spice Blend or similar
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
10cm strip of rind from an orange or zest the orange on a microplane
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cups beef stock
1 cup water
1 – 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 3 cm pieces
1 cup pitted prunes
1 cup green olives
fresh coriander to serve
Preheat oven to 160 degrees.
Heat half the oil in a heavy based pan and fry the beef in small batches until sealed on each side. Set aside on a plate and repeat with remaining beef.
Add the rest of the oil to the pan and saute the sliced onions until soft. Add the garlic, spices and orange rind and saute for a minute before adding the tomato paste. Cook for 1 minute then tip in the beef and all the juices plus the stock, 1 cup of water and the sweet potato. Bring to the boil. Put the lid on a leave to cook in the oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Take out of the oven and add the prunes and olives. Leave to simmer on the stove top uncovered for 1 hour or until the meat is really tender. Serve with some fresh coriander, couscous and ideally the rocket, preserved lemon and olive salad.