Tagine-Style Beef Stew with Lemons
2 pounds stewing beef, cut into chunks
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 cloves garlic
1 red onion
1 (14-ounce) can plum tomatoes
1 tablespoon palm or peanut oil
2 cups water
2 cups beef broth
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup golden raisins
½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
2 Preserved Lemons, cut into slices (page 224)
Serves 4 to 6
A North African specialty, tagine is a spicy stew traditionally served in a clay cooking pot. Serve the tagine over couscous or boiled rice.
Season the stewing beef with salt and pepper. Crush the garlic cloves. Peel and chop the red onion. Cut the plum tomatoes into quarters, but reserve the juice from the can.
In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil. Add the beef and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Remove the beef from the pan, but do not clean out the pan.
Add the chopped onion and garlic. Add 1 tablespoon water and cook the onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the beef broth and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, then stir in the ground cumin, cayenne pepper, and turmeric. Add the cinnamon stick.
Add the beef back into the pan. Turn down the heat, cover, and simmer. After the stew has been simmering for 1 hour, add the raisins, plum tomatoes, and chopped cilantro. Simmer, covered, for 30 more minutes, adding the remaining 1 cup of water as needed. Taste and add salt and pepper, as desired. Serve hot, garnished with Preserved Lemons.