413 – Beef Tagine with Prunes / طاجين اللحم بالبرقوق

This savory and sweet beef tagine is a staple dish in Moroccan cuisine, often prepared in special occasions!

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds (1 kilo) tender beef or lamb
  • 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 onions (grated)
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • A pinch of ras el hanout (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon saffron water (large pinch of saffron + 1/4 cup water)

Caramelized prunes (cooked separately):

  • 10.5 oz (300 grams) prunes
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup sauce from the meat tagine

Decoration

  • Fried almonds
  • sesame seeds

 

Directions

A- Preparing the ingredients
1- First, soak the saffron threads in some warm water for 10 minutes.
2- Grate the garlic cloves
3- Cut the onions in half and grate them using the large holes of the grater. Chop the leftover onion pieces.

B- Cooking the Meat
4- On low heat, in a large pot, drizzle the vegetable oil.
5- Add the onions, garlic, ground ginger, turmeric, pepper, salt, a pinch of Ras El Hanout, and a cinnamon stick. Pour some saffron water and mix all the ingredients together.
6- Add the meat pieces to the pot and mix in.
7- Let the meat cook for a few minutes until all sides get a brown color, this way the spices and flavors are locked in the meat.
8- Add water to almost cover the meat, raise the heat to medium-high, cover the pot, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to medium and keep cooking until the meat is done.

C- Preparing the Prunes
9- While the meat is cooking, soak the prunes in boiling water for around 15 minutes to soften them up.
10- In a separate saucepan, on medium heat, melt the butter.
11- Add 1 cup of the tagine sauce to the butter.
12- Drain the prunes and place them in the sauce pan. Cover and cook for around 10 minutes or until the prunes become soft.
13- Once the prunes are tender, add the honey and ground cinnamon. Gently mix in the prunes, cover the saucepan, set the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. The prunes are ready when they sit on a thick syrupy sauce and are very soft.

D- Final steps
14- Check on the tagine from time to time – just stir the meat in the sauce and add water if necessary, the meat should always be half-covered with water until it cooks. Depending on the cut, it may take 1 to 2 hours.
At the end, the meat is soft and the sauce is thick.
15- To serve the tagine, first plate the meat, Pour the sauce over and around the meat pieces, top with caramelized prunes, add a handful of fried almonds, and finish with a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
Serve immediately with crusty bread. Hmmm… delicious.
Bon appetit!