I haven’t been cooking very much lately between my mother being in and out of the hospital and my husband and 4 year old traveling. So most dinners have consisted of very easy themes and mostly vegetarian cuisine, which is fine, but it’s nice to get some meat on the table again. And boy did this hit the spot. Although it’s Moroccan food in flavoring and technique, this beef and potato stew reminds me so much of my mom’s stew that she made for me growing up. And since her passing from a glioblastoma brain tumor last month, it’s a real comfort to have such reminders.
I’ve been trying to learn to cook more Moroccan food over the last few years, and feel like I have just a few good recipes under my belt. This beef and potato stew recipe is certainly one to try on my father-in-law with my MIL is out of town! This recipe is SO easy, it’s like a no-fail dinner that’s sure to impress. You basically just add all the ingredients (except the veggies, olives and lemon) and cook it. Cook it real good! Voila – a hearty, satisfying meal to be served with salad and crusty bread which will allow you to garner instant stardom in your household.
So this recipe calls for ginger paste. You can also use fresh grated ginger, or at the very least, ginger powder. It’s better than nothing, right? We eat a lot of ginger paste in this house so my MIL makes up a ginger paste in the blender using peeled fresh ginger, fresh garlic, a dash of salt and some lemon juice. I feel like it lasts for a long time but in reality it probably only lasts for a month or two. Still, that’s longer than regular fresh ginger lasts AND it’s recipe-ready!
Hearty Moroccan Beef and Potato Stew (Tagine) with Olives
1 lb. stew meat
3-4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
small handful of cilantro sprigs, chopped fine
large handful of red or green olives
1/2 tsp lemon juice
- Chop the onion rather than slicing it. Cut the potatoes into wedges rather than slices. Chop the parsley and cilantro.
- Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro or parsley, spices and olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water and cover. If using a conventional pot, simmer the meat for about 1 1/2 hours; if using a pressure cooker, cook the meat with pressure for about 35 minutes.
- Add the potatoes, olives and preserved lemon, adding water if necessary so that the broth almost reaches the top of the potatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is reduced until thick.
- Towards the end of the cooking, taste for salt and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
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