Moroccan Spiced Beef Stew

January 9, 2015 | By | More

spiced beef stew

Now is the time, after the holidays, when people start to hate on winter. But not me! I don’t actually know what I would do without a proper winter, or the season’s easy, comforting food. With the garden (mostly) put to bed, it’s my time to relax, be horizontal on the sofa, and generally regroup for spring.

Winter is also time for me to clean out my freezer and pantry. During the summer when the farmers’ markets are in full swing, I buy lots of frozen, grass fed beef and pastured chicken that I can pull out for easy and comforting meals all winter. It was just this week that I took inventory and discovered some lovely frozen stew meat, but I was not in the mood for the traditional, all-American beef stew with carrots and potatoes. I wanted something a bit more…exotic.

I found this decade-old Bon Appetit recipe and proceeded to adapt it and make it my own. This spiced beef stew cooks low and slow until the meat is tender. The raisins lend a sweet note to the subtle and yes, slightly exotic, heat from the cayenne and garam masala. You can serve this stew over Israeli couscous or rice, if you wish. Or, lighten it up by serving it accompanied by nothing more than a cool, crisp salad with winter radishes.

Oh, I almost forgot: this spiced beef stew cooks up easily in just ONE pot and you can freeze any leftovers!

As for the wine used in cooking the stew, if you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it!

Ingredients (Serves 6)

3 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

2 pounds beef stew meat such as boneless chuck roast (preferrably grass fed), cut into 1-inch cubes

2 cups chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp. garam masala

1 Tbsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. tumeric

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup dry Sherry

2 cups beef broth

1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes in their juice

3/4 cup golden raisins

Chopped fresh parsley, for serving

spiced beef stewStep one: 

2 Tbsp. olive oil

2 pounds beef stew meat such as boneless chuck roast (preferrably grass fed), cut into 1-inch cubes

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until pieces are browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and set aside.

Step two: 

1 Tbsp. olive oil

2 cups chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, chopped

1 Tbsp. garam masala

1 Tbsp. sweet paprika

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. tumeric

1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup dry Sherry

Add 1 Tbsp. olive oil to the same pan that you cooked the meat. Stir in the chopped onion and saute until soft and browned. Add the garlic and spices and stir to combine, cooking for one minute until fragrant. Next, add the red wine and Sherry to deglaze the pot, scraping up any browned bits – they add great flavor! Cook the mixture for about 10 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened.

spiced beef stewStep three:

2 cups beef broth

1 14 1/2 ounce can diced tomatoes in their juice

3/4 cup golden raisins

Chopped fresh parsley

Finally, add the broth, tomatoes and raisins to the pot and stir in the reserved, browned meat. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover the pot and cook low and slow until the meat is very tender. For me, this took about 3 1/2 hours. Ladle into bowls and scatter with fresh parsley.

Enjoy with a full-bodied, dry red wine, a crackling fire, warm socks and good conversation.

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Category: Food, Main Dishes, Recipes, Winter

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