Last night I had the lovely Phil Dukes over for dinner and Doctor Who (The Mind Robber, in case you were wondering!) and I was in the mood for a tagine. Rather than looking through my cookbooks before work, I had a flick through the BBC website during my coffee break. I found this lovely recipe by The Hairy Bikers and thought that I’d give it a go.
It’s a tasty little recipe and the chopped apple gives a lovely sweet flavour to the tagine and works well with the beef and sweet potato. The garnish of fried apple slices is a unique touch and finished the dish off nicely.
750g of braising steak (I used shin of beef, which worked well)
4 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons of ground cumin
2 teaspoons of ground coriander
1 teaspoon of hot chilli powder
400g can of chopped tomatoes
400g of can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of clear honey
1 beef stock cube
1 cinnamon stick
1 medium sweet potato
2 large eating apples
25g bunch of fresh coriander
75g of ready-to-eat prunes, halved
Flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the garnish:
1 large red-skinned eating apple
15g of butter
1 tablespoon of clear honey
Preheat the oven to 180C
Trim the beef of any fat and cut into roughly 3cm chunks. Season all over with salt and pepper.
Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a large non-stick saucepan and fry the beef (in batches if necessary) over a high heat until lightly browned on all sides.
Transfer each batch to a large flameproof casserole once browned. (I don’t like using my tagine on the hob so I continued in the large saucepan until it was ready to go in the oven, at which point I transferred it to the tagine.)
Reduce the heat and add two tablespoons more oil to the saucepan. Fry the onions for five minutes, or until softened and lightly coloured, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and sprinkle with the cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, stirring constantly.
Tip the onions and spices into the casserole with the beef. (I carried on with the saucepan until it was time to put everything in the oven.)
Add 450ml of water, the tomatoes and the chickpeas to the saucepan/casserole and stir in the honey.
Crumble the stock cube over the top, add the cinnamon stick and stir well. Bring to the boil, stirring a couple of times. Then cover the dish with a lid, and transfer to the oven and cook for 1¼ hours. (at this point I transferred everything from the saucepan to the tagine and then placed that in the oven.)
Peel the sweet potato and cut into roughly 2½cm chunks. Peel the apples, cut into quarters and remove the cores. Cut the apples into 2cm chunks. Roughly chop the coriander.
Remove the tagine from the oven and stir in the sweet potato, apples, prunes and chopped coriander.
Replace the lid and return to the oven. Cook for a further 45-60 minutes, until the beef is very tender.
To make the garnish, cut the apple into quarters and remove the core. Slice each apple quarter lengthways into five. Season with ground black pepper. Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the apple slices over a high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from the heat, drizzle with the honey and toss lightly.
Scatter the fried apples and chopped coriander over the dish and serve.