Tajine of Beef and Apricots
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*waves* Hi there! Remember me? Probably not it’s been so long since I’ve come by! It’s been busy around here and the kitchen is the last place that I’ve been. You see my husband and kids have gone home to Morocco for a few weeks (7 actually), and I’ve been like a bee getting everything together for their trip. Who knew it could be so much work? I wish I could say that I was going to – I still think a research trip is in order! Do they make travel grants for researching blog writers?
Now however, I will have more time to spend here and also in the kitchen with new ideas! This recipe is a twist on the Beef and Prune Tajine, pretty much the same recipe, but switching out the prunes for apricots – you could really use any dried fruit in the recipe like dates, or even cherries (that’s a combination I have to try!)
- 1-2 lb. beef or lamb bone in or bone out– cut into 3-4’” chunks
- 1/2 lb. onions finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoon ginger
- 5-10 saffron threads
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 cup vegetable or olive oil (if the meat you are using has more fat then decrease the amount of oil
- 1 palmful of chopped cilantro
- 1/2 lb. dried apricots
- 1-2 tablespoon honey (fresh, organic if possible)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup blanched, fried almonds
In a large pot or pressure cooker, add oil to bottom of pan and add onions and garlic, saute until translucent. Mix in the meat and brown, then add spices (salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon, parsley, saffron)
If using a pot on the stove, add enough water to cover the meat. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 2 1/2 – 3 hours, until meat is very tender and falls away from the bone. You may need to add more water if it cooks off too quickly. Add the cilantro. Bring the meat and liquids to boil. When the meat is cooked removed, and allow the remaining water to reduce to a thick sauce.
If using a pressure cooker, cover the pressure cooker after adding water and cilantro. Cook on medium heat for between 45-50 minutes. Release pressure and open cover. Remove the meat and reduce the sauce uncovered.
For the apricots: (this can be done while meat is cooking)
Add dried apricots to a small pot with honey and some water, simmer on medium heat, checking to make sure there is enough liquid and they are not burning. Continue simmering until very tender. The length of time for this step depends on the oven as well as the apricots. Towards the end add some cinnamon (more if you like it). Cook until they are sitting in a thick syrup.
This is often topped with fried almonds. To fry almonds: using blanched almonds add some oil to a saute pan and put the whole almonds in. This will only take a few minutes once hot. Be sure to watch as they will burn quickly.
Once complete turn out meat and sauce into a large serving dish. Top with the apricots and sauce, and then the almonds. This is eaten with pieces of crusty bread.
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