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)
- 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.
- 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.
- When all the meat is browned, add the onions to the pan and caramelize them, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic and stir in all the spices. Cook one minute.
- 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.
- Stir in the beef broth, tomatoes and sultanas.
- 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.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary.
- Serve over couscous (or mashed potatoes).
A fine starter (or dessert) with this dish would be Medjool Dates stuffed with Cabrales Blue Cheese.