Meet my favorite winter recipe, a flavorful and easy Moroccan Beef Stew. I had this dish at a restaurant served on top of mashed potatoes and was in love with the warming spices and comforting combination. Beef Tagine is a Moroccan stew made by baking the dish in a clay pot. This simplified version is made in a Dutch oven!
The Coziest Beef Stew
I had a Moroccan Beef Stew at a restaurant a couple of years ago and it was one of those dishes that you think about for weeks afterward. I knew it was something that had to be recreated in my kitchen.
Different than a classic beef stew, this dish is full of spices and punctuated by dried fruit, giving it a sweet and spicy twist. Bites of tender beef and stewed root vegetables make this the ultimate healthy comfort food.
It was served over a bed of mashed potatoes, which isn’t exactly a traditional way to serve it, but it was so delicious that it’s become the typical way we serve it at my house.
What is Beef Tagine?
Beef Tagine is a Moroccan dish made by stewing beef with root vegetables, tomatoes, and warm spices, like cinnamon, ginger, cumin, and turmeric. Dried fruit, like raisins, apricots, dates or prunes, is added to give the stew a sweet and spicy twist.
Traditional tagine is a combination of meats, root vegetables, and dried fruits.
A tagine is a clay vessel with a conical-shaped lid used to slow-cook meats and vegetables. Tagines are popularly used for cooking Moroccan food and are set over coals or a low fire.
Tagine recipes can be made with a variety of meats, like Chicken Tagine or Lamb Tagine, this recipe uses beef.
To adapt to a modern kitchen, I use a Dutch oven on my Sharp Induction Cooktop for this easy beef tagine. I love the precise cooking temperatures of this cooktop. I know I can adjust the temperature and set the timer, and my stew will come out perfectly with no burning on the bottom of the pan.
At low heat, the cooktop has a simmer enhancer, which sends short waves of heat through the cookware. This ensures even cooking with no burning, even when you leave a dish for long periods like with this beef tagine.
What Cut of Beef is Best for Tagine?
The most popular cut of beef used for stewing is a chuck roast. Chuck roasts are economical and have good fat marbling, meaning that the beef can be stewed for long periods without drying out.
I have tested this recipe with a chuck roast and with a round steak roast. My preference is round steak because the stew turns out less greasy.
It also works with precut stew meat, if that is what you have available.
What You’ll Need
Spice Marinated Beef
- Stew Meat (Beef chuck roast or round steak, see notes)
- Kosher Salt
- Black Pepper
- Olive Oil (or use beef tallow or ghee)
- Beef Broth
- Diced Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Spices (cinnamon, paprika, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Substitute cinnamon sticks for the powder for the best flavor.)
- Root Vegetables (carrots, parsnips, potatoes, or turnips)
- Dried Fruit (raisins and apricots are my favorites, but prunes and dates are also used)
- Garbanzo Beans or chickpeas (I don’t use these, to keep my dish paleo, but they are a popular in Moroccan cuisine.)
How to Make Beef Tagine
Step 1: Cut beef roast or steaks into large chunks.
Step 2: Combine the spice rub for the beef.
Step 3: Rub the spices into the beef, evenly coating. Allow the beef to marinate in the spices for at least an hour.
Step 4: Heat a large dutch oven (or cast iron pot with a lid) over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and place the chunks of beef into the pot. Do not overcrowd the pan. The beef will steam instead of browning. I cook the beef cubes in 3-4 batches, turning each piece to brown the top and bottom, then returning it to a plate.
Step 5: Into the pot, add the onions and the garlic. Saute for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Step 6: Return the beef to the pot, along with the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Step 7: Cover the dutch oven, and allow the stew to cook for 2 hours. Test the beef. It should be melt-in-your mouth tender at this point.
Step 8: Add the vegetables and dried fruit, and return the lid to the pot. Allow it to stew on low for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
Step 9: Adjust seasonings to taste. Typically all I add at this stage is extra salt and pepper. A little cayenne pepper is also great if you’d like to increase the spiciness of this stew.
How to Serve Moroccan Beef Stew
- Over mashed potatoes.
- With your favorite loaf of crusty bread.
- Over grain, like steamed rice or quinoa.
- Over a bowl of roasted butternut squash. This sweet and spicy combo is so delicious!
How to Store Leftover Stew
After the stew has completely cooled, cover the pot with the lid and refrigerate leftovers for up to 4 days.
To freeze this stew, pack the leftovers in airtight containers, and freeze up to 3 months. Allow the stew to thaw in the fridge or at room temperature prior to reheating.
Other Beef Stew and Slow-Cooked Beef Recipe
Moroccan Beef Stew
This Moroccan stew is full of anti inflammatory spices, tender chunks of beef, root vegetables, and little pops of sweetness from dried fruit. Our favorite way to serve it is over mashed cauliflower, but it's a meal all on it's own, or great served over rice or cauliflower rice.
- Beef Spice Rub
- 2 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast stew meat, or beef round steak
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika or sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- Beef Tagine
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil or ghee
- 1 onion white or yellow, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 tablespoon Spanish paprika or sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon or sub 2 cinnamon sticks (remove when adding root vegetables)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 3 carrots peeled and cut in large chunks
- 2 turnips trimmed and cut in large chunks
- 1/3 cup dried apricots cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons raisins or golden raisins
Cut beef roast or steaks into large chunks.
Combine the spice rub for the beef.
Rub the spices into the beef, evenly coating. Allow the beef to marinate in the spices for at least an hour.
Heat a large dutch oven (or cast iron pot with a lid) over medium heat. Add the olive oil, and place the chunks of beef into the pot. Do not overcrowd the pan. The beef will steam instead of browning. I cook the beef cubes in 3-4 batches, turning each piece to brown the top and bottom, then returning it to a plate.
Into the pot, add the onions and the garlic. Saute for 7-10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
Return the beef to the pot, along with the beef broth, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and spices. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low.
Cover the dutch oven, and allow the stew to cook for 2 hours. Test the beef. It should be melt-in-your mouth tender at this point.
Add the vegetables and dried fruit, and return the lid to the pot. Allow it to stew on low for another 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.