Maggie Beer's Beef Tagine with Spiced Pear Paste
Serves 4 - Recipe sourced from maggiebeer.com.au
1.5kg oyster blade steak cut into 2-3cm chunks
1 tablespoon ground ras el hanout (best substitute for ras el hanout is equal parts paprika, coriander, ginger and a pinch of saffron OR just ground coriander)
1 large brown onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic
4 threads saffron
24 dried apricots
18 large prunes (pitted)
4 marrow bones
½ cup parsley freshly chopped
¼ cup roasted almonds
40ml extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup verjuice
100g spiced pear paste cut into 1cm cubes (substitute with quince paste if necessary)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 150°C. Mix the chunks of steak and ras-el-hanout together and leave to marinate for approximately an hour. Heat a little extra virgin olive oil in a heavy based frying pan, and sauté the onion and garlic until translucent.
Add the strands of saffron. When cooked remove from the pan and set aside.
Put the apricots, prunes, Verjuice and Spiced Pear Paste into a small saucepan, bring to the boil and reduce the heat to a simmer until the fruit plumps up. The fruit will absorb just about all of the liquid.
Heat a little more extra virgin olive oil in the frying pan and fry off the meat in batches, until it's sealed and golden on all sides, season with salt and pepper as you go.
Place the meat, onion and marrowbones into an oven proof casserole dish or a cast iron pot with a tight-fitting lid and put into preheated oven. Cook slowly for approximately two hours until the meat is just softening.
Add the dried fruit mix at this stage and mix through the meat. Continue to cook for another half hour to an hour, until the meat is soft, but not falling apart.
The tagine can be served immediately, but the flavour does improve if made a day or two before use. This also allows you to remove any excess fat that may rise to the surface overnight.
Serve with chopped parsley, roasted almonds, a side of couscous and a glass of Pfeiffer Mataro.