This Moroccan beef dish is impressive to serve and yet simple to make. If you expect guests and yet feel that you have no time for a home cooked meal, this may be a good bet. This dish comes from the North Africa tradition where most meat dishes are cooked long and slow. They are not cooked in what we would recognize as a slow-cooker, however, this recipe is adapted to a slow-cooker or crock pot and maintains the flavors of North Africa.
To serve a family of four, plan on cooking about three pounds of beef, an extremely generous serving. However, your mileage may vary depending on the size of your crockpot. As for cuts of beef, try roasts, steak cuts, or even tenderized round steak. You cannot miss with this recipe. The slow cooking is extremely forgiving.
1. If your meat is not already in pieces as stew meat would be, then cut your meat into serving-sized pieces.
2. For each pound of beef peel and grate one large onion. The onion not only adds flavor, but also thickens the broth because it is grated so finely.
3. Place the grated onion in a bowl with
teaspoon ground ginger
teaspoon saffron threads
4. Mix the seasonings and onion thoroughly.
5. Toss the onion mixture with the meat in the slow cooker.
6. Add one cinnamon stick.
7. Dot the top of the mixture with butter, about three tablespoons.
8. Pour in about 2 cups of water and cover with one bunch of cilantro, spread over the top.
9. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours depending on how much meat you have in the pot. Six hours is adequate for a pound.
10. For each additional pound duplicate the amount of seasonings listed here. You don’t want to skimp. The succulence of this dish has been a winner with everyone to whom we have fed it.
11. In the last hour of cooking add some dried prunes to the pot, about 6 prunes per pound of meat. This may sound strange if you grew up on pizza, but the end result is splendidly flavorful.
12. When ready to serve, lift off the cilantro and discard. Place the pieces of meat on your favorite serving platter and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
A nice menu to accompany this meat is a large green salad with vinaigrette dressing and steaming hot quinoa. You will have great company fare with little work on the part of the cook. Enjoy and rake in the compliments!
Alexander V. Martin enjoys healthy eating and cooking, especially iron-rich foods like beef, in fact foods for depression. He promotes Amazon’s highly rated depression book, Rebuild from Depression: A Nutrient Guide.
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