Making the most of meat
This Eid, we have a few recipes which will help you enjoy the festivities a little more. These aromatic and flavourful stews are a hearty and comforting alternative to traditional time consuming dishes.
A tagine is like a stew of meat, which can be made with any kind of meat or even fish. It's all about the spices and slow cooking, giving all the wonderful flavours time to develop. Even though traditionally tagines are made in ceramic cookware called tagines, you don't really need an authentic Moroccan tagine in order to recreate this beautiful dish, a saucepan will do just fine.
600g quality stewing beef
Olive oil as needed
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small bunch of fresh coriander
400g tinned chickpeas, drained
400g chopped tomatoes
800ml vegetable stock
1 small pumpkin, approximately 800g, deseeded and cut into 5cm chunks
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted
For the spice rub --
Salt as needed
Freshly ground black pepper as needed
1 level tbsp ground cumin
1 level tbsp ground cinnamon
1 level tbsp ground ginger
1 level tbsp sweet paprika
Mix all the spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl. Put the beef into a large bowl, massage it with the spice rub, then cover with cling film and put into the fridge for a couple of hours -- ideally overnight -- that way the spices really penetrate and flavour the meat.
When you're ready to cook, heat a generous lug of olive oil in a tagine or casserole -- type pan and fry the meat over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add your chopped onion and coriander stalks and fry for another 5 minutes. Add the chickpeas and tomatoes then pour in 400ml of stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then put the lid on the pan or cover with foil and reduce to a simmer for 1½ hours.
At this point, add your pumpkin and the rest of the stock. Give everything a gentle stir, then pop the lid back on the pan and continue cooking for another 1½ hours. Keep an eye on it and add a splash of water if it looks too dry.
Once the time is up, take the lid off and check the consistency. If it seems a bit too runny, simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, more with the lid off. The beef should be really tender and flaking apart now, so have a taste and season with a pinch or two of salt. Scatter the coriander leaves over the tagine along with the toasted almonds, and then take it straight to the table with a big bowl of lightly seasoned couscous.
This is a lamb stew recipe which gets its Moroccan flavour from a blend of aromatic spices such as turmeric, cumin, ginger, cardamom and cinnamon. You can use any cut of lamb here but I use lamb shanks for my café.
4 pounds fat-trimmed boned lamb shoulder or other cut suitable for stewing, rinsed and cut into 1½ -inch chunks
2 onions peeled and thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tbsp each paprika and ground cumin
1 tsp each ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, and minced fresh ginger
½ tsp pepper
1/8 tsp ground cardamom
2½ cups chicken stock
400g diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and fresh-ground pepper
Brown lamb. Discard all but 2 tablespoons fat from the pan. Add onions and garlic to pan; stir often over medium heat until onions begin to get soft in 3 to 5 minutes. Add paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, pepper, and cardamom; stir until very fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broth, tomatoes (including juices), and tomato paste. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lamb is tender when pierced, about 1 hour. Skim off and discard any fat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Mushroom and beef stroganoff
You can use any cut of beef you like but steak meat is tenderer. And you can
use any mushrooms you like, but beef and button mushrooms work really well together. By the time you start cooking the meat, it will all come together quickly. The meat will be a little pink. You can cook it for longer if you want but it will go slightly tougher.
200g white rice
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed
1 medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely sliced
300g beef loin, fat and sinews removed, trimmed and sliced into finger-sized pieces
Salt as needed, Ground black pepper
1 tbsp paprika, 250g button mushrooms, wiped clean, torn into bite-sized pieces, 1 bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley or coriander, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 knob butter, Zest of ½ lemon
150ml cream or sour cream
Heat a large frying pan on medium heat and pour in a lug of extra virgin olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for about 10 minutes until softened and golden. Remove from the heat and spoon the onions and garlic out of the pan on to a plate. Keep to one side.
Season the meat well with salt, pepper and paprika. Rub and massage these flavourings into the meat. Place the frying pan back on a high heat and pour in some more olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry for a few minutes until they start to brown. Then add the meat and fry for a minute or two before adding the parsley or coriander stalks and the cooked onion and garlic. Toss and add the butter.
Stir in the lemon zest and all but 1 tablespoon of the crème and season to taste. Continue simmering for a few minutes. Any longer than this and the meat will toughen up. It doesn't need long as it's been cut up so small.
Serve your fluffy rice on one big plate and your stroganoff on another. Simply spoon the remaining crème over the stroganoff, then sprinkle over the parsley or coriander leaves.
A ragù is a meat-based sauce. It can be served with pasta or creamy mashed potatoes or even with bread. You can use two types of mince and mix it, for example, 1 kg of beef mince and 500g of lamb mince. Just make sure you use a kilo and a half in total.
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 rashers beef bacon, sliced
2 red onions, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, trimmed and sliced
1 pumpkin, peeled and chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
750g minced lamb
750g minced beef
2kg tomatoes chopped
500ml chicken stock
3 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
Ground black pepperas pepper
Heat the oil in a very large casserole-type pan and add the bacon. Then add the onion, garlic, celery, pumpkin and carrot, and cook very gently for about 15 minutes until soft. Add the mince, break it up with a wooden spoon and cook for about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat up, pour in the stock and simmer for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, then fill an empty tin twice with water and add this to the pan too. Add the rosemary and bay leaf, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1½ hours with the lid on. After this time, if the ragù is still quite liquid, remove the lid, turn the heat up and simmer for a few more minutes to reduce.
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed