Jul 20, 2012

Moroccan Beef Tajine\Tagine with Squash



The mild flavor of the buttercup squash and the melt in your mouth beef is a great combination.  The recipe is from the book The African and Middle Eastern Cookbook by Josephine Bacon and Jenni Fleetwood. I altered it a bit.  The original recipe calls for sweet potatoes.  I was at a farmer's market the other day and bought a buttercup squash.  I have developed a love for squash since I have been cooking Moroccan food.  Whenever we would make couscous, the squash was eaten first.  I guess that I wasn't the only one who liked the squash.  You can use pumpkin, butternut squash, or rutabaga instead of sweet potatoes.  Lamb can be replaced with the beef in this recipe as well. 



Ingredients: 

1 1/2 lbs of beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter or ghee
1 onion chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp or to taste cayenne pepper
salt/pepper to taste
1 tbs each chopped Italian parsley and cilantro
1 fresh red or green chilli, seeded and chopped (optional)
1 cup of water
1 lb sweet potatoes or squash or rutabaga, cut into 2 inch chunks

In the bottom of a tajine place the olive oil and put on medium heat.  Once hot, add the beef and simmer until it is browned on all sides.  Then add the the spices, parsley, cilantro, chilli and 1/2 cup of water.  Mix well and simmer for about 1 to 1 1/2hours on low heat.  If the sauce evaporates add a bit more water.  You need to check this periodically. Once the meat is tender, arrange the sweet potato or squash on top of the meat.  Cover and cook until the vegetable is tender.  Sprinkle with salt/pepper to your taste.  Serve with crispy bread and a salad or greens.  Enjoy!