Beef Tagine

Sometimes spelled Tajine, this spicy and very delicious casserole, a variation on a traditional Moroccan dish, is so called because it is cooked in a tagine [or tajine], a wide, shallow baking dish with a high, conical lid that allows moisture to drip back down, keeping the meat moist. A tagine recipe can be done in an ordinary casserole, of course, or on the stove top in a covered pan, but it is not quite the same. It would have to be stirred from time to time, which is not necessary if done in the proper container. Traditionally, the meat of choice would be lamb or mutton, but as anything on the sheepmeat schedule these days is really expensive I tend to use cheaper cuts of beef.

300g diced lean beef.
1 small onion, peeled and chopped.
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped.
1 tablespoon sultanas.
1 tablespoon oil.
1 dessertspoon honey.
1 teaspoon turmeric.
1 teaspoon ground cumin.
1 teaspoon ground fennel.
1 can tomatoes in juice.
300g pumpkin, peeled and diced.
Salt and pepper.
1 good squeeze lemon juice.

Place all the ingredients except the pumpkin and the lemon juice in a tagine on a medium flame. Stir well to combine, bring to a simmer, reduce heat and cover. Cook for 1 ½ hours if using topside or skirt, less if using rump or better.
Remove the lid, gently stir in the pumpkin pieces and squeeze the lemon juice over all. Replace the lid and cook for another 30 minutes then serve with rice or couscous and mixed vegetables. What could be easier?

Serves: 2.

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