Moroccan Beef Tagine

With it being winter in South Africa at the moment, one pot cooking is suddenly sexy again. Gone are the fancy prawns and Salmon dishes, in come the oxtails and potjies (stews) and hearty soups. So I’ll be posting a few recipes to keep you warm through the chilly nights.

The first recipe is my beef tagine. A Tagine, technically speaking, is actually the name of the dish used to make this stew, it’s a two-piece dish with a flat bowl and then a cone shaped with a knob on the topLamb tagine_1. It’s typically made out of ceramic. For some reason the shape of the dish and the materials it’s made from help make the meat super tender. We don’t have the space in our ovens nor the budget to keep replacing expensive ceramic pots therefore we make use of metal trays and foil but at home a normal casserole dish will do. The recipe could also work in a pressure cooker but the various flavours won’t get as much time as they would in an oven to infuse the meat.

Tagines are the national dish of Morocco and the staple starch of that country and its North African neighbour’s is Cous-cous. I suggest you serve this tagine with it. Traditionally it would be made with lamb but last night I tried it with lean beef cuts and it turned out just as good. Be aware though, with beef you need a longer cooking time in order for it to become tender.


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion , finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tsp ground all-spice
  • 2 tsp chopped chili
  • 3 star anise pods
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 600g beef cut into cubes
  • 200g butternut, diced
  • 200g dried apricots and apples
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can chickpeas
  • 500ml lamb or beef stock (liquid stock NOT stock cubes)
  • Salt and pepper


  • Soften the onions in the oil on a hot stove then stir in all the spices. Add the tomatoes and allow to simmer
  • Heat a separate pan with a little oil and only place the meat in it once it’s piping hot. Once brown pour the tomato and spice sauce over the meat and allow to simmer for a few minutes. Pour your stock over the meat and stir.
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Place the mixed meat and sauce into your casserole dish or metal pot and cover with foil or a lid. Cook for an hour and a half
  • After an hour and a half stir in the dried fruit and chickpeas  and season with salt and pepper (and additional spices if you’re not happy with the balance of the flavours) and return to the oven for another hour.
  • Before serving stir in some chopped fresh coriander.

Serve with cous-cous and chopped cucumber mixed in plain yoghurt.

2 thoughts on “Moroccan Beef Tagine

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