When it’s cold and dreary outside there is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of something wholesome, sweet, and a little spicy. My Moroccan Beef Tagine with Figs and Almonds is healthy, beautifully textured, and miraculously delicious when you are suffering from the end-of-summer blues. Cumin and turmeric keeps things grounded, and the addition of ginger, leek, and garlic make the grey clouds disappear and sky open up.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 x sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small chunks
300 g chuck beef steak, cubed
1 small leek, washed and sliced
1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
200 g tinned tomatoes, inc. juice
1 cup water
½ bunch fresh coriander
Zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp harissa paste
¼ cup almonds, roughly chopped
¼ cup dried organic figs, sliced
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
¼ tsp ground turmeric
2 cardamom pods, cracked
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the beef and brown all over – it is best to do this in batches – if the pan is overcrowded the meat won’t brown. Remove the beef from the pan.
Add the sliced leeks to the pan with a little more oil – if needed – cook until soft, then stir in ginger and garlic. Stir in the spices and lemon zest. Add in the tomatoes and juice along with the water, harissa paste and finely chopped stalks and roots of the coriander – reserving the leaves for later. Return the beef to the pan along with the sweet potato, give the stew a gentle stir and cover with lid. Reduce heat and leave to simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the meat is really tender – adding more water during cooking if needed.
With about 15 minutes of cooking to go, add the chopped figs to the pot.
For the quinoa, place all the ingredients into a saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until the water has absorbed.
When ready to serve, remove the stew from the heat and stir in coriander leaves and a squeeze of lemon juice. Adjust seasoning to taste and serve on a bed of the cardamom quinoa. Sprinkle with almonds, zest and serve.