How to Make Beef Braised with Moroccan Spice

Cooks on a Budget Finds Unique Ways to Use Inexpensive Cuts of Meat.

An assertive blend of spices combined with a hint of dried fruit sweetness characterize many Moroccan or Moroccan-inspired dishes.

This is a great recipe for chuck roast or whatever is the least expensive beef in the market. These cuts generally want low and slow cooking to tenderize them. A slow braise is ideal for melding the complex of flavors in this Moroccan-inspired dish.

This recipe employs the technique of first “blooming” the spices: heating them in a dry pan until they begin to turn color and give off an amazing aroma.

Beef Braised with Moroccan Spice
You will need: a large, heavy flame-proof casserole or dutch oven, enameled cast iron is ideal for low and slow cooking.


  • 1½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp each: ground turmeric, cayenne, cinnamon, cardamom and coriander
  • ¼ tsp each: ground nutmeg and cloves
  • 2 ½ pounds chuck roast, cut into ¾-inch cube
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • ½ cup dry Sherry
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1½ cups sultanas (golden raisins)


  1. Sprinkle all of the spices in an even layer over the bottom of a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Toast the spices, stirring occasionally, just until they begin to turn color and give off a sweet, smoky aroma. Be careful not to scorch the spices. Remove the pan from the heat and scrape the spices onto a cool plate to stop the cooking process.
  2. Generously salt and pepper the beef cubes. Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot, over medium-high flame. Brown the meat in batches so that they are not crowded, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a dish.
  3. When all the meat is browned, add the onions to the pan and caramelize them, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and stir in all the spices. Cook one minute.
  5. Add the wine and Sherry. Let it come to a boil, scraping up the brown bits from the pan with a wooden spoon. Boil until the mixture is reduced to a glaze, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the beef broth, tomatoes and sultanas.
  7. Return the beef and accumulated juices to the pot. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is thick and the beef is tender, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
  9. Serve over couscous (or mashed potatoes).

A fine starter (or dessert) with this dish would be Medjool Dates stuffed with Cabrales Blue Cheese.

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3 thoughts on “How to Make Beef Braised with Moroccan Spice

  1. Rachael Ray

    This is an outstanding recipe. I made this meal yesterday for my husband and me on St. Patrick’s Day and we couldn’t wait until our meal was ready. All afternoon the smells of glorious meat cooking with vegetables was greatly anticipated and we weren’t disappointed. Thank you so much for the recipe.

  2. Angela Gibbons

    This recipe is fantastic. My husband and I both love it. He even commented that I could cook this any night and twice on Sundays, he liked it that much. Thank you, Fatty cue.

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