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The Nomadic Kitchen - JORDANIAN BEEF TAGINE

Tom Perkins, writer of Spices and Spandexfounder of The Nomadic Kitchen, cycled from South London to Cape Town trailing culinary discovery along the way. Here he provides a recipe for the perfect winter dish for the adventurous chef. 

 

Jordanian Beef Tagine with apricots, olives, butternut, pomegranate molasses & harissa.

 

*****

 

This dish draws upon the fluid culinary culture of the entire region; incorporating the flavours and ingredients so integral and abundant throughout the Arabic world. Go to any souk or food market in Jordan and you’ll be practically falling over great sacks of intoxicating spices, endless rows of seasonal vegetables and bag after bag of various nuts and dried fruits – all perfect ingredients to be thrown into one big pot and then cooked slowly until they all come together into one rich, spicy stew of goodness.

 

 Ingredients

  • 600g STEWING BEEF {cut into 1cm cubes}
  • 500g PLAIN YOGHURT
  • 2 tsp HARISSA PASTE
  • ½ tsp DRIED CHILLI FLAKES
  • 1 tsp SMOKED PAPRIKA
  • ½ tsp CINNAMON
  • ½ tsp GROUND CUMIN
  • ½ thumb FRESH GINGER {grated}
  • 1 tsp dried MINT
  • 1 LEMON {zest & juice} 

 

  • 1 medium RED ONION {roughly chopped}
  • 3 cloves GARLIC {finely chopped}
  • 2 tsp TOMATO PASTE
  • 1 can chopped TOMATOES
  • 2 cups BEEF STOCK

 

  • 1/2 medium BUTTERNUT {1cm cubed}
  • 1 cup MIXED OLIVES {pitted}
  • 1 cup DRIED APRICOTS {roughly chopped}

 

  • 2 tsp POMEGRANATE MOLASSES  
  • large handful fresh CORIANDER {roughly chopped}
  • plain COUS-COUS
  • SALT & BLACK PEPPER
  • OLIVE OIL

 

In a large mixing bowl put all of the beef, then in with half of the yoghurt, the harissa paste, all of the dried spices and herbs, the lemon zest and the ginger. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside in the fridge for at least at couple of hours. Preferably overnight.

Get yourself a large casserole dish (if you have a genuine tagine then certainly get fully involved with that), in go a couple glugs of olive oil and then over a medium heat it’s time to fry the marinated beef with the onion. Give this about 8 - 10 minutes. Then in with the garlic and the tomato paste. Fry for another minute. Next in with the chopped tomatoes and half of the stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer with a lid firmly on the pan for about 2 hours. Stir occasionally.       

Give everything a big stir and then in with all the butternut, olives and apricots. In goes the rest of the stock, and then place the lid on a little skew so that some steam can escape and the sauce can reduce right down to a dark, sticky gravy. Continue to simmer until the butternut is cooked through but retains a little bite.

Now for the final touches. Stir in the runny honey, check for seasoning, and then scatter over a generous handful of fresh coriander, and squeeze over half a lemon.      

Take the rest of the yoghurt and marble through 1 tsp harissa paste, lightly season and then squeeze over the other half of the lemon. Serve this yoghurt and harissa dressing as an accompaniment to dollop over the tagine alongside a simple, seasoned couscous.

 

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Tom Perkins provides a new recipe every month for Svelte, find out more about the Nomadic Kitchen hereSpices and Spandex will be available to buy at the Svelte store soon.