You may have realised by now that I am a huge fan of Middle Eastern inspired food. I say ‘inspired’ as the recipes are probably not authentic however, I do believe they have the quintessential flavours of the region. The pistachio, preserved lemon and coriander crumble that I added to the dish made for a sensational garnish and elevated the flavour to new heights, putting an Em’s Food spin on an already tasty creation. If you are a fan of a cracking Tagine, then I think you will love this one!
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 2.5-3 Hours $$ Medium Budget
Oil for frying
800gm of chuck steak, cut into 3cm cubes
1 eggplant, cut into 3cm cubes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2cm piece of ginger, grated
1 large brown onion, halved and sliced
1 tsp of allspice
1 tsp of chilli flakes
2 tsp of ground cumin
2 tsp of ground coriander
A pinch of saffron threads
1 cup of beef stock
400gm tin of diced tomatoes
1 tsp of honey
1/2 cup of pitted green olives
1/2 bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
Sea salt and cracked pepper
4 tbs of greek yoghurt
Cous cous to serve
For the Crumble:
3 wedges of preserved lemon, flesh removed and discarded
1/4 cup of toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
1/2 cup of coriander leaves
Pre heat the oven to 180°C. Place the allspice, chilli flakes, ground coriander and cumin in a small bowl with a good pinch of salt and mix to combine. Place the eggplant chunks in a lined baking tray and drizzle with a little oil. Sprinkle over 1 heaped teaspoon of the spice mix and toss well to coat the eggplant. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside.
Heat a heavy based pan and add a little oil. Cook the beef, in batches until golden, remove from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add a little more oil if necessary and lightly fry the onion until just starting to soften. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute before adding the remaining spices and saffron threads to the pan. Mix well and then pour in the stock, tomatoes and honey, season with salt and pepper and add the beef back to the pan, stirring to combine. Bring to the boil then lower the heat to a simmer, cover with a tight fitting lid and cook for 1.5 hours, stirring occasionally. To keep the moisture in, I like to lay a sheet of baking paper on top of the mixture before placing the lid on.
After 1.5 hours, remove the lid and check that the beef is tender. If so, add the eggplant and olives to the Tagine and gently fold them through. If the beef is still a little tough, it may need another 30 minutes with the lid on. If the beef is tender allow the sauce to simmer with the lid off, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Stir the coriander through just before serving.
Finely dice the preserved lemon and finely chop the coriander. Mix them together with the chopped pistachios in a small bowl.
To serve, divide cous cous between 4 serving bowls and top with the Beef Tagine. Dollop on the yoghurt and sprinkle over the crumble. Serve with steamed greens.
Leftover preserved lemons? You may want to make this……