Beef Shank Tagine with Apricots

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I’ve been dying to use the beautiful spices I picked up from my trip to Morocco in a heartwarming tagine and it is finally cold enough to enjoy a slow simmering stovetop braise.

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Beef Shank Tagine with Apricots

  • 5 lbs beef shanks, about two 2-inch thick cross sections
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for searing
  • 1 onion, finely minced
  • 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and smashed but left whole
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed but left whole
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp ras el hanout
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • Pinch of saffron threads
  • Handful of apricots, about 10 meaty ones
  • Handful of olives, about 3/4 cup
  • One 14 oz. tin of chick peas, drained and rinsed
  • Half a preserved lemon, pith and flesh removed and finely diced, optional

Heat a good glug of oil over medium heat in your flameproof tagine or a heavy bottomed pot. Sprinkle the beef with salt and pepper and sear both sides until golden brown. Remove the shanks and set aside.

Add the onion, ginger and garlic to the pot and reduce heat to medium low. Stir until onions are translucent and scrape up the brown bits using a wooden spoon.

Add the spices and the bay leaf and stir for a minute until fragrant.

Pour in the beef stock and bring to a simmer before returning the beef and adding the saffron threads. The liquid should cover 2/3 of the beef. Reduce heat to a minimum and cover the pot with a tight fitting lid. Braise for 2 1/2 hours or until the beef if fork tender but still attached to the bone.

Skim off any excess fat and add the apricots, olive and chick peas and preserved lemon if using. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes until the apricots are plump but not falling apart. Adjust the tagine for seasoning and serve over a bed of couscous or rice.

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