Moroccan beef Tagine on Minted Lemon Couscous

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May 18, 2018

The word “tagine” refers both to the earthenware dish with a cone-shaped lid AND the stew that is made within it. You don’t need this dish to make the stew – a heavy-bottomed pot with a good lid will do the trick, producing an aromatic beef stew with a contrast of sweet and savoury flavours within it.


  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs
  • Yields: 6 servings



Pinch saffron

2 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil

1 ¼ lbs Blade Roast, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups peeled & diced onions (2 medium)

1 ½ cups peeled and diced carrot (2-3 medium)

2 tsp sweet paprika

2 tsp ground turmeric

1 ½ tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tin diced tomatoes

1 ½ cups beef stock

½ cup raisins

4-6 pitted Medjool dates, chopped

salt & pepper

¼ cup lightly toasted sliced almonds

¼ cup fresh coriander leaves

Minted Lemon Couscous:

1 ½ cups couscous

zest of 1 lemon

2 ¼ cups boiling water

3 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup

salt & pepper

lemon wedges, for serving


1. Drop the saffron threads into a glass with a few tablespoons of hot water and set aside.

2. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet (with a lid) over high heat and add the oil. Add the beef, enough to cover the bottom of the pan in a single layer without crowding (sear in batches, if it all doesn’t fit) and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Remove to a plate and reduce the heat to medium.

3. Add the onion and carrot and sauté until the onions turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the paprika, turmeric, cumin, ginger, and cinnamon and sauté one minute, to warm up the spices. Add the diced tomato, stock and saffron water and bring to a simmer. Add back the beef, cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 90 minutes to 2 hours, until the beef yields easily when pierced with a fork. During the last 15 minutes, ad the raisins and dates. Season to taste.

4. Serve the tagine topped with sliced almonds and coriander leaves, over minted lemon couscous and lemon on the side.

Minted Lemon Couscous:

1. Place the couscous in a large, heatproof bowl and grate the lemon zest over it. Pour the boiling water over the couscous, stir and cover the bowl with plastic wrap until it cools to room temperature.

2. Use a fork to fluff up the couscous, re-warming if needed, to serve (microwave is easiest). Toss the couscous with the green ions and mint and season to taste right before serving.

Cooking tips:

• The raisins and dates are added towards the end of cooking. If added at the beginning, they would cook away, disappearing into the liquid and their flavor would be lost.

• Of course, you can switch up the dried fruits to other sweet options such as prunes or apricots, or they can be replaced with a diced apple if dried fruits are preferred.

• This dish can also be prepared in a slow cooker. Simply place all of the ingredients (except the dried fruits & almonds) in a slow cooker, cover and set on low heat and cook 8 hours and then hold warm.


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