Sunday, 16 February 2014

Beef and Fennel Tagine without a Tagine

I think I haven't got any more space left in my kitchen to put things. Well, maybe a few small things could fit in somewhere. However, if I wanted to have any possible special cooking gear, I would be in real trouble. After all my raclette grill and my wok are already in the cellar. Ah, my barbie is there as well, of course. Yes, a bamboo steamer basket would be lovely or something that could be used more regularly, a food processor, a slow cooker, a pressure cooker, or a pasta machine or a quiche tin. Wait, I definitely have to work on the last one tomorrow.
But something else, a tagine. That would look lovely and it would be another good experience to cook with. Nevertheless, I haven't got one. Still I wanted to cook a Beef and Fennel Tagine. Let's see whether we can cook a Beef and Fennel Tagine without a Tagine ...

Now we are going to use quite some ingredients to make it happen.

1 tsp. whole black pepper
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. sumac
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
A splash of olive oil
500 g beef, cut in cubes
1 fennel bulb, cut into bite size pieces
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. preserved lemons
1 litre beef stock
1 red bell pepper, cut into small pieces
1 green bell pepper, cut into small pieces
100 g almonds, chopped up
100 g dates, chopped up
A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped up 

If you have counted 20 ingredients, you have done it right.
First of all put the black pepper, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, sea salt, sumac and cinnamon into a mortar and bash it up a bit. Then rub the mixture into the beef and let it rest in the fridge for about one hour.
After that, fry the meat in some olive oil in a large pan. Once the meat is sealed, add the fennel, chilli, onion, garlic preserved lemon and beef stock.
Bring it to the boil and let it simmer for one hour with the lid on.
Then add the red and the green bell pepper, the almonds and the dates and let it simmer with the lid on for another 45 minutes. If you feel it's to thin afterwards, continue to simmer for 15 minutes with the lid off.
On the other hand, if you feel it is getting to dry, feel free to add some more stock.
Finally add the chopped up fresh coriander before serving.

You can serve it together with rice or some flatbreads together with some hummus. You don't have to bother buying any hummus, because you can whiz it up easily with a tin of cooked chickpeas, some yoghurt, lemon juice,  a bit of tahini, a little bit garlic and salt. No big deal!

On top of that, it tastes lovely, too. All in all, we have a lovely meal, while we don't even have a tagine. As far as I see it, we can have a delicious Beef and Fennel Tagine without a Tagine. So I don't have to think about buying a tagine for my kitchen. I wouldn't reject a gift, though.
What about you, are there any pieces of cooking equipment you feel you have to get?


  1. This recipe sounds delicious agre-dolce preserved lemon and dates, never thought of cooking fennel with beef would like potatoes or yams I would toast almonds sliced after onions/ Thanks for ideas. Antoinette Baranov

    1. You are welcome, Antoinette. I reckon, potatoes or yams in it would also be nice.


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