Beef tagine with fried cauliflower

Neil Perry
Flavour-packed: Beef tagine with fried cauliflower.
Flavour-packed: Beef tagine with fried cauliflower. Photo: William Meppem

This lovely little Moroccan-inspired combination needs nothing more than a bowl of cous cous or perhaps some rice on the side. You can use any spices you like, such as ras-el-hanout, in the chermoula to give it your own spin. You can, if you like, add dried fruit such as dates or apricots along with almonds or pistachios. It's beef, so dial it up; big flavours are good. This cauliflower dish is truly wonderful, it takes on a deeply roasted, almost burnt flavour, which is a perfect complement to the rich meat. It also goes well with pasta, pinenuts, raisins and some grated cheese over penne.

Ingredients

1.2kg beef chuck, cut into 2.5cm dice

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 x 400g tin peeled, chopped tomatoes

1 small cauliflower, broken into florets

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp chopped coriander

Chermoula

1 medium Spanish onion, peeled and roughly chopped

4 garlic cloves

sea salt

1/2 tsp ground turmeric

5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tbsp ras-el-hanout

1 tsp sweet paprika

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

2 tbsp coriander leaves

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

1 tsp crushed dried chillies

juice of 1 lemon

Method

1. To make the chermoula, puree all the ingredients together in a food processor until relatively smooth.

2. Marinate the diced beef in the chermoula paste for one hour.

3. Heat three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a saucepan big enough to fit all the beef. When just smoking, add the beef (retain the bowl) and quickly saute to colour and seal well on all sides.

4. Add the chopped tomatoes and a cup of water to the bowl the beef was previously marinating in, mix well and add to the saucepan. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer, cover with a tight-fitting lid and cook gently for about two to two-and-a-half hours or until beef is tender.

5. When the beef is nearly ready, bring a pot of salted water to the boil, add the cauliflower florets and cook for one minute. Drain the cauliflower well, allow to dry then shallow-fry the cauliflower in a small saucepan with the remaining olive oil.

6. To serve, spoon the beef into a large bowl, sprinkle with the browned cauliflower, give a good grind of pepper and sprinkle with the coriander leaves.