Riffi Berber

Beef Tajine

North Africa

Preparation Time: 50 minutes | Serves: 6-8


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron or turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1½ pounds beef
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1/2 pound dried prunes
  • 1 strip lemon peel
  • 2 short cinnamon sticks
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • blanched almonds (optional)
  • watercress or mint (optional)
  • instant rice or couscous

To prepare

  1. Cut the meat into cubes, chop the onion finely, and mix both with the oil and spices. Let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the meat and sear it lightly in the butter. Add any remaining marinade and enough water to cover. Simmer until meat is tender.
  3. While the meat is cooking, cover the prunes with boiling water and let them stand for 20 minutes.
  4. Drain the prunes. Place them in another pot and cook them in a small amount of liquid from the meat. Add the lemon peel, cinnamon sticks, and half the sugar.
  5. Stir the remaining sugar into the meat. Arrange the meat, prunes, and their sauce on a serving dish.
  6. Boil the remaining liquid from the meat rapidly to reduce it by half. Pour the liquid over the meat and prunes.
  7. Serve over rice or couscous.
  8. (Optional) Garnish with almonds sautéed in a little butter and with watercress or mint.
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