Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Beef Tagine with Sweet Potatoes

Moroccan Tagine stews are among the most popular African dishes.  Slowly braised spiced meat to a fork tender consistency makes these juicy one pot meals a favorite.  In this version, beef is braised with turmeric, peppers, onions, paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Sweet potato is then added to the stew to sweeten the pot to create a very tasty beef stew.

One can also use yams as a substitute to sweet potato and adding mushrooms (although not traditionally used) can also add to this dish's flavors.

Servings: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Active Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Special Tools: Large Dutch Oven or Cast Iron Pot


2 Tablespoons Sunflower Oil
1.5 lbs. Stewing Beef  trimmed and cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1 Large Yellow Onion chopped
1 Serrano Pepper chopped
1.5 Teaspoons Paprika
1 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
4 Cups Beef Broth
1 lb. Sweet Potato
1 Tablespoon Parsley chopped
1 Tablespoon Cilantro chopped
1 Tablespoon Butter
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to season

In a large cast iron pot or dutch oven place the olive oil over medium heat. Add the meat and turmeric to the pot and fry the beef until evenly browned on all sides (about 4 minutes).  Cover the pot and cook the meat for an additional 15 minutes over low heat.   While the meat cooks, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

After 15 minutes, add the onions, Serrano pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin to the pot.  Stir the ingredients together than pour in the beef broth.  Scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pot and make sure all the meat is submerged in the broth.  Cover the pot tightly and place it in the oven to cook for 1 hour until the meat is tender.

Meanwhile peel the sweet potato and slice them into a bowl of salted water to keep them from discoloring.  Set aside.

After an hour, remove the dutch oven from the oven.  Add the parsley and cilantro into the pot.  Layer the slices of sweet potato on top so as to cover the meat.  Dot the potatoes with butter.  Cover the pot again and return to the oven to cook for another 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

If you like the potatoes crisp, after the initial 15 minutes in the oven, remove the cover to the pot and place it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes.

Serve immediately while still hot.

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