Beef Tagine

This recipe has become a dinner staple at our house. Preparation is simple and I typically have all of the ingredients on hand. The most exciting part about Beef Tagine - even Charlotte likes it. Well, she likes everything about it except for the couscous. What kid doesn't like couscous? It's even fun to say... At least she eats the stew portion, I will easily settle for that.

Beef Tagine
Serves: 6

1-1/2 pounds beef stew meat
2 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 dried apricots, chopped
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14-1/2 oz.) beef broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon honey
1 can (15-1/2 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Juice of half a lemon
Pearl (Israeli) couscous

Preheat oven to 350°. If stew meat pieces are large, cut in half or quarter, if desired. Heat oil in an oven-proof Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef in batches and brown on all sides. Remove meat and set aside.

   In the same pan, saute onion until tender (adding a little more oil, if necessary). Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Return beef to pan. Stir in apricots and spices. Add tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and honey. Bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until beef is tender.

   During the last 15 minutes of cooking time, stir in chickpeas and lemon juice. Serve with couscous.

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