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Spicy Beef Stew with Moroccan Spice Rub

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"The flavor for this recipe comes mainly from the spice rub I put on the meat at the start. The spices and their aromas just get locked into the beef and release during the stewing so each bite is really well flavored. I used a spice mix commonly used in Middle Eastern and Moroccan cooking called ras el hanout. The sauce is tart from the tomatoes and sweet from the pumpkin, carrots, and parsnips and has a heady aroma from the spices. Ladle into your favorite soup bowl and slurp away. This is hearty enough on its own so I usually don't serve any bread with it."
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2 h 20 m servings 430
Original recipe yields 4 servings


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  1. Place beef in a large bowl. Add ras el hanout and rub until beef is completely coated. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a stew pot over high heat until shimmering. Add meat, making sure it's not overcrowded, and sear to seal in the juices, stirring occasionally, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer meat to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and add leek and onion to the pot. Saute until leeks turn golden and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add tomatoes and saute until they begin to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cooked meat back to the pot, along with diced pumpkin and tomato paste. Cook and stir for 2 minutes.
  4. Pour wine into the pot and bring to a boil while scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until wine reduces by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add beef stock, rosemary, mint, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and return to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes.
  5. Add parsnip and carrot, cover, and simmer until beef is tender, about 40 minutes longer. Taste sauce and add lemon juice and sugar, if needed.


  • Cook's Notes:
  • Goat meat or lamb can be used instead of beef. You can use any type of onions or shallots, and try a red wine like Merlot in place of the rose.
  • If you don't have ras el hanout, substitute with an equal mix of powdered spices such as cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, anise, ground chile peppers, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, peppercorns, and turmeric. You could also add saffron and ground ginger.
  • Shortcut: if you are in a hurry or simply can't bother with the slow-cooking, use a pressure cooker. After deglazing with the wine, transfer to a pressure cooker and add stock, herbs, etc., as specified above. Put the lid on and once pressure builds, reduce heat to low and cook for 30 minutes; the time will vary on the type and cut of meat you are using. Once off the heat, wait for the cooker to release pressure before attempting to open it.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 430 calories; 23.2 24 23 62 218 Full nutrition

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