The Simple Plate

Moroccan Braised Beef & Chickpeas

Let me start by saying, this is probably my favorite meal of all time. Since I first made it, it’s been in a place of honor in my stomach (heart). It’s not a weeknight dinner, it’s the kind of slow cooked divinity you make on the weekend while you’re home (maybe it’s raining out) so you can be there to smell the delicious flavors melding together. And keep an eye out on the liquid level. It’s easily hands down the best way to use stew meat (don’t make a stew, please). I love chickpeas in just about anything, and in this dish they add a bit of texture and structure to the meal. They surprisingly hold up well as the meat cooks slowly in the juices and spices. The Moroccan spice blend is both sweet and savory (the best use of the two) and oh so fragrant. I promise you won’t have had anything like this one. As the spices toast and the meat cooks, there’s this undeniably delicious aroma that radiates in the kitchen and I just don’t know anything more comforting than the smell of the fragrant spices used to make this dish. It’s also something you can make a lot of for a crowd if need be. 2 pounds should feed 2-3 people, but the recipe is straight forward and would be really easy to double. Just make sure the pot is big enough. I use a Dutch Oven for this one. I find that leaving the lid on for half the cook time greatly helps tenderize the meat and it’s stove top, so your oven is free for any side you may want to throw in . You don’t necessarily have to have a dutch oven, just a really big pot that does well with low and slow dishes. I adore this dish, it’s a family recipe, and I really hope you enjoy this one.

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 pounds beef stew meat

2 tsp kosher salt

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

2 tbs tomato paste

3-4 cups beef broth

2 tbs olive oil, to start (adding in additional tbs increments as necessary)

1 onion, sliced

Fresh Parsley, finely chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

How To:

  1. Heat a large dutch oven on the stove top to a medium high heat with a layer of olive oil. When the oil is heated, brown the meat for about 4 min before tossing and browning another 4 on the other side. Remove meat from pot.
  2. There should be some juices from the meat now mixed with the oil (add a little more here to the pot if need be, use your eye here and best judgement). Now, add in all of the dry spices and toast for about 1-2 min. Just until they begin to brown and become fragrant.
  3. Careful not to burn the spices, quickly add in the tomato paste and begin to mix it with the spices until a paste as formed.
  4. Next, add in your drained and rinsed chickpeas alongside the carrot and onion, tossing to coat. Allow them to cook for about 6 min in the oil, again adding more if need be. You just want to brown the chickpeas a little and begin to soften the carrots.
  5. Finally, add in the lemon juice, zest, broth, and the browned meat. Toss everything to coat well. Get the mixture up to a hard simmer and then reduce to medium heat. Cover and cook for 2 hrs, checking occasionally to make sure the broth has not reduced too much that the bottom begins to burn. Add more broth in 1/2 cup measurements if need be. After 2 hrs, remove the lid and cook uncovered for an additional 30 min. Depending on the size of your stew meat, it could take closer to an hour. When the liquid has reduced and the meat is tender ( try a piece!), it’s done. Total cook time will be 2-2 1/2 hrs in a dutch oven.

Chef’s Note: Always check the tenderness of your meat before turning off the burner. When braising beef, the size of the meat, the vessel you cook it in, and the method (stove top or oven), can cause cook times to vary. After 2 hrs, just try a bite, if the meat is tender and easy to chew–it’s done!

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