Sunday, February 21, 2010

Crockpot Beef Tagine


You know how you make Moroccan food even simpler?  Cook it in the crockpot.  It's basically the more technologically advanced version of a tagine anyway and you can cook while you sleep. 

I love my crockpot especially for cooking something in large portions like this before a party.  It is done the day before and all I have to do is warm it up before the guests arrive.  This planning ahead made this the least stressful party I've ever had.  All I did was warm everything up and throw it on plates for my guests.  I could get used to that.

There maybe a long list of ingredients but believe me there is no work involved and in the end you are rewarded with tender, sweet and slightly savory beef covered in a gooey decadent sauce.  On a plate with those salty stuffed tomatoes and some red quinoa with roasted vegetables that my friend Jess contributed to dinner, and this was an excellent meal.  It was almost as good as actually going to Morocco...okay maybe not but it was fun pretending.

We had some Cakebread Pinot Noir with the beef and it was stunning.  Pinot was the right choice for sweet, spicy beef because it had enough fruit to compliment the red meat but was light enough to not over power the spices.  I was really pleased with dinner and even more so that everyone invited loved dinner and had managed to somehow all bring the right wines to go with dinner even though none of us knew what wines to pair with Moroccan food. 

Then for dessert I went a step farther and knocked every one into an ecstatic food coma with warm fresh rice crepes and some almond and argan oil paste called, amlou.  With an ice wine we were all insanely happy and yes just tipsy enough to really start having a good time.  

Also included in this meal:

Red Quinoa with Roasted Vegetables

Crockpot Beef Tagine

2 tablespoon oil, divided use
4 large onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped

3 pounds beef, trimmed of fat and cubed

1 cup stock (beef preferably)
2 teaspoons cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 inch piece ginger, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons agave nectar
1 cinnamon stick

5 carrots, peeled and cut into chucks
1 9-ounce can tomatoes (or 5 large tomatoes, diced)
4 ounces dates, pitted
6 ounces prunes, pitted

1/ 4 cup toasted almonds, sliced
1/ 4 cup cilantro, chopped

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium high heat and brown the onion and garlic until well caramelized.  Place into crockpot.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan over medium heat  Pat dry the cubes of beef (you'll get a better sear on the meat if it isn't wet), then in small batches brown the beef on all sides.  Don't cook the meat all the way through!  You're just searing the outside of the meat so it will stay tender while cooking on low heat for a long time in the crockpot.  As you brown the meat place it in the crockpot.

Place beef broth in measuring cup or small mixing bowl and whisk the spices and agave nectar into it.  Put spiced broth and whole cinnamon stick into crockpot.

Toss the carrots, tomatoes, dates and prunes into the crockpot.  Mix all the ingredients in the crockpot up so it is well combined and coated in spices.

You may need to add more stock or some water to the crockpot at this point.  You want the meat mostly covered in moisture so it won't dry out.

Cook on high in crockpot for 6 to 8 hours or until beef is tender and falling apart.

Serve over quinoa(if you're gluten free) or couscous(if wheat isn't an issue).  Top with the almonds and cilantro.

Modified from a recipe by the French Tart at


Alina said...

It look so great !!!
I will try me too :)

Emily said...

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did, Alina.