Prime beef fillet with intense spices is luxury on a plate.
Photo: WILLIAM MEPPEM
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- 800g prime beef fillet, cut into 2cm dice
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, cut into 6 pieces
- 2 carrots, cut into 4cm pieces
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 4cm pieces
- 8 green beans
- 12 almonds, skin removed
- sea salt
- 2 tbsp honey
- juice of 1 lemon
- 8 fresh dates, pitted
- 1 small handful pitted black olives
- 1/4 preserved lemon, rind only, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley leaves
- steamed couscous, to serve
- 1 red onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch coriander, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1 heaped tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 1/2 tsp ras el hanout (a North African spice mix, available at speciality food stores and spice suppliers)
- 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- juice of 1 lemon
To make the chermoula, place all the ingredients in a food processor, except the olive oil and lemon juice.
Process for 1 minute, then slowly pour in the oil to form a thick paste.
Stir through the lemon juice.
Set aside 1 cup for the tagine.
Makes 2 cups; store extra chermoula under oil for 1-2 weeks in the fridge.
Combine 2 tbsp chermoula with the beef and set aside to marinate for 1 hour.
In a tagine or a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat a little extra virgin olive oil and the rest of the reserved chermoula.
Add the onion, carrot, sweet potato, beans, almonds and a little salt and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add enough water to half-cover the vegetables, then add the honey and lemon juice and cover.
Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
Remove the lid and turn the ingredients carefully.
Add the dates and olives.
Cover the pan again and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Heat a frying pan until hot and add some olive oil.
When smoking, add the beef and quickly sauté to colour and seal on all sides.
You can also use a braising cut rather than prime beef fillet; just add more water and extend the cooking time to about 2 hours.
Spoon the beef into the tagine and mix well.
You can serve the dish in the tagine or saucepan, spooned onto a large platter or divided among plates.
Just before serving, sprinkle with preserved lemon rind and fresh herbs.
Serve with couscous.