Saturday was the 9th anniversary of Alberto first moving to Brighton from Madrid, so I thought I’d cook something a bit special that I don’t often cook. This is a lovely recipe with lots of rich flavours, including spices such as garlic, chilli, ginger and coriander, along with the earthy flavour of the beetroot and the sweetness of the orange segments and honey. Everything works really well together to produce a complex-tasting dish. The liquid is a pale pinky-red colour too which is amusing. But, oh my, the beetroot stains everything – fingers, work surfaces, chopping boards, everything!
I did a little starter beforehand with toasted pitta bread, grilled halloumi and houmous. Tasty!
1-2 of tablespoons ghee
3-4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 red onion, halved lengthways and sliced
40g of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, crushed
2 cinnamon sticks
2-3 beetroot, peeled and quartered
500g of lean beef, cut into bite-sized cubes or strips
2 thin-skinned oranges, cut into segments
1 tablespoon of runny honey
1-2 tablespoons of orange flower water
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
a knob of butter
2-3 tablespoons shelled pistachio nuts
A small bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
As is always the way with tagine dishes I start everything off in a large frying pan and then transfer it all to the tagine to cook in the oven.
Preheat the oven to 200
Melt the ghee in a frying pan or large saucepan and stir in the garlic, onion and ginger and fry until they begin to colour.
Add the chilli, crushed coriander seeds and cinnamon sticks.
Add the beetroot and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
Add the beef and sauté for 1 minute.
Pour in enough water to almost cover the beef and beetroot and bring it to the boil.
Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, until the meat is very tender.
(This is the point at which I transfer everything into the tagine, cover it and stick it in the oven for an hour.)
After an hour add the orange segments, honey and orange flower water to the tagine and season with salt and pepper.
Re-cover, pop it back in the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
Melt the butter in a small saucepan and fry the pistachio nuts until golden brown.
Serve the tagine, with the pistachio nuts and chopped flaat-leaf parsely sprinkled over the top.
I served this with a lightly lemon flavoured couscous. And some cava. (well, we were celebrating!)