I haven’t been to Morocco yet, but I feel like I already have a sense for the country through the food I’ve tasted. There is an innate bravado to the way spices are used so brashly in Moroccan dishes. There is no hint of this or that, but rather an in your face statement of cinnamon and cardamom; cumin and paprika. Turmeric leaves her golden mark on your fingers and you smell garlic, garlic for days.
These bold flavors wrestle each other like a room full of alpha dogs, but somehow the resulting flavor is all harmony, richness, sultry flavor that looks you right in the tastebuds and grabs you. Morocco, I look forward to a rendezvous in our future! I’ll bring my kohl eyeliner, you bring on the tagines!
This dish is awesome for weeknight entertaining because it can be made the night before, and letting it chill out in the fridge overnight actually enhances the flavors. In addition, the cuts of meat that are great for braising are usually cheaper cuts because they are tougher. The slow braising will take your toughest meat and melt it all down to tender, juicy bits that give with sigh at the slightest nudge of a fork.
This particular dish made a lot of extra sauce, which was SOO good, that we knighted it “Moroccan Awesomesauce” and I saved it in the freezer for use in another dish later. Bet it would be great to cook with some shrimp or fish.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2½ pounds boneless chuck roast
- 1 large yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup white wine (can use all red as well)
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 14½-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
- 1½ cups dried apricots or raisins
- 2 cups kale
- 1 lemon
- Cut the chuck roast into 1 inch cubes, removing large chunks of fat
- In a large dutch oven/pot, heat up 2 TB oil
- Working in batches to not overcrowd the pot, brown the meat chunks, seasoning with salt & pepper in the pot.
- Remove from pot and set aside on plate while you repeat to finish browning all the meat.
- While the meat is browning, dice the onion & garlic.
- In the same pot, add another 1 TB of oil and the chopped onions and cook til translucent (5 min)
- Add the garlic & all the spices and stir around to cook another 1 min.
- Add the wine and cook down til it thickens, about 8 min.
- Add the chicken broth, diced tomatoes, dried apricots and stir to distribute.
- Add all beef & juices on the plate into pot as well. Bring to simmer, then lower heat to medium low.
- Simmer about 1 hour & 15 min until sauce thickens and meat is tender. Season with salt & pepper.
- Add sliced kale (optional) & juice of 1 lemon.
- Serve immediately garnished with chopped parsley, or set in fridge overnight to let flavors meld.
Adapted from Epicurious