Why am I making stews in the middle of summer? I don’t know. It just sounded tasty… and making hot food in the middle of summer never really bothered me much. So, if it’s just too hot for you to even utter the word “stew,” you’ll just have to keep this one bookmarked for later this year!
While perusing through some recipes the other day, I found this recipe and my mouth started watering. I hadn’t cooked red meat in a while so I decided to give it a shot… with my alterations, of course! Despite making some budget/availability cuts to the ingredients list, this is still one of the most expensive dishes I’ve ever made for the blog. But, beef is expensive pretty much any way you cut it. Well, the dried fruit and wine didn’t help the price either. Save this one for special occasions!
If you’re not familiar with Moroccan style flavors, this stew is slightly sweet, slightly spicy, and very savory. Most americans are used to cinnamon and allspice used in sweet dishes but they swing both ways. Really! You might be a little leery of the dried fruit with the beef, but it works. I promise. Traditionally this is probably served over couscous but I used jasmine rice. I’ve got another couscous recipe this week and I didn’t want to over do it.
Moroccan Beef Stew
Moroccan Beef Stew
- 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.22)
- 1 1/2 lbs. beef stew meat ($6.97)
- 1 medium yellow onion ($0.76)
- 2 inches fresh ginger ($0.33)
- 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic ($0.12)
- 1/2 Tbsp allspice ($0.07)
- 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon ($0.07)
- 1 cup red wine, optional ($2.52)
- 3 oz. tomato paste ($0.28)
- 1 Tbsp honey ($0.11)
- 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper ($0.02)
- 1/2 tsp salt ($0.02)
- 3 cups water ($0.00)
- 7 whole dried apricots ($0.62)
- 1/4 cup raisins ($0.14)
- 1 1/2 cups dry jasmine rice ($0.72)
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. When the oil is very hot (but not smoking), add the beef. Cook the beef until it is well browned and all of the juices have cooked off (about 15 minutes).
- While the beef is cooking, dice the onion. Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler or scrape the skin off with a spoon and then grate about 2 inches on a cheese grater. Add the onion, ginger, and minced garlic to the pot with the beef and cook until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add the allspice and cinnamon to the pot. Stir and cook for about one minute. Add the red wine to deglaze the bottom of the pot. If you’re not using wine, the water in the next step will do the same.
- Add the water, the tomato paste, honey, crushed red pepper, and salt. Give everything a good stir to dissolve the tomato paste. Let it come up to a boil then reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let it simmer for one hour.
- While the stew is simmering, cook the jasmine rice. Add the dry rice and 3 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring it up to a boil with a lid in place. As soon as it reaches a rolling boil, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and let simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot sit, undisturbed, until you are ready to serve.
- When the stew has simmered for about an hour, roughly chop the apricots and add them to the stew along with the raisins. Let the stew simmer for another 15-20 minutes without a lid to allow it to thicken. You may need to increase the heat just slightly to keep it simmering without the lid to hold the heat in.
- Fluff the rice with a fork, pile some into a bowl, and then ladle the stew on top. Enjoy!
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Step By Step Photos
This is the beef stew meat that I used. Stew meat is usually taken from a tougher cut because it is meant to cook long and slow. When tough cuts of meat with a lot of connective tissue are cooked for a long time, the connective tissue breaks down and you get that nice, tender, fall-apart goodness.
Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Once the oil is nice and hot, add the beef and sear it on all sides until brown.
Your beef may let off a lot of moisture which will prevent the browning effect that we want. If this happens, just keep it cookin’ till the water evaporates off and the meat starts to brown again.
See, eventually the moisture will cook off and it will start searing again. This is good, it makes flavor.
While the beef is cooking, dice the onion and grate the ginger (peel the ginger first).
Add them to the pot along with the minced garlic and cook until tender (about 5 min.).
Add the allspice and cinnamon and cook for about 1 minute more.
Now it’s time to add the wine to deglaze. I used wine that I had frozen specifically for cooking so that I wouldn’t have to open a new bottle every time… because no one wants to be a wino. …at least I think? Anyway, if you don’t want to use the wine, just go ahead to the next step.
Add the wine and stir it around until all of the little yummy bits have dissolved off of the bottom of the pot. If you don’t have wine, a little water will work but just with less flavor.
Finally, add 3 cups of water, the tomato paste, crushed red pepper, honey, and salt. Bring it up to a boil, reduce the heat to low, place a lid on top, and let it simmer for 1 hour.
While the stew is cooking, cook the rice. Also, roughly chop the apricots. I chopped mine to about the same size as the raisins. I had both regular and gold raisins so I used them both. 1/4 cup total.
After the stew has simmered for an hour, remove the lid, add the fruit, and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes more. You may need to raise the heat just slightly to keep it simmering. You want some of the liquid to boil off so that it will thicken. The pectins in the fruit will also help the sauce thicken.
Ladle about a cup of the stew over a heaping pile of rice and enjoy!