Friday, January 7, 2011

Moroccan short rib tagine with butternut squash and carrots

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I'm a spice junkie. It's an addiction really. So I'm pretty psyched about the growing number of sources for high quality spices. I've used Penzey's for years and now Williams-Sonoma has introduced a line of spices and blends including some harder to find varieties like Ras el Hanout and porcini sea salt (yum!). But the icing on the cake is a new spice shop right in the next town called Savory Spice Shop. They have lots of blends and such but they have an irresistible selection of stuff I haven't seen elsewhere. Fennel pollen! Rose water! I went in for a couple of Christmas gifts and spent, well, a lot on stuff for myself!

I'll be trying out my new stuff soon. The recipe below is another tagine - easy, full of flavor and great for a cold winter night. It made anough for 2 meals for Jeff and me. This one features Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice blend. Savory carries it, but I bought mine at Williams-Sonoma (also where I found the original recipe). Tender short ribs, butternut squash and a punch of Moroccan flavor make this simple tagine absolutley spectacular. Serve it with a side of couscous.

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Moroccan Short Rib Tagine with Butternut Squash and Carrots
adapted from williams-sonoma.com
  • 3 Tbs. ras el hanout
  • 1 Tbs. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt, plus more, to taste
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, plus more, to taste
  • 3 lb. short ribs, cut into serving pieces, external fat trimmed to 1/4 inch
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine, such as Syrah
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup beef broth, plus more, as needed
In a small bowl, stir together the ras el hanout, paprika, the 1 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper. Rub the mixture over the short ribs, coating them evenly. Let stand at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes or refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

Preheat an oven to 350°F.

Heat a large, heavy fry pan over medium heat. Pour in the olive oil and heat until the surface shimmers. Add the short ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.

Pour off all but 2 Tbs. of the fat in the pan. Add the onion, carrots, squash and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine, stirring to scrape up the browned bits from the pan bottom. Add the tomatoes and the 1/2 cup stock.

Transfer the mixture to a tagine. Add the short ribs, pushing them down into the vegetables. Cover the tagine, transfer to the oven and bake until the meat is very tender, about 2 1/2 hours.

Transfer the short ribs to a plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let the sauce cool for 5 minutes, then skim the fat off the surface. If the sauce is too thick, stir in more stock, 2 Tbs. at a time. Adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper as needed.

Serve over couscous.

2 comments:

The Housewife Diary said...

Love seeing someone post a Moroccan Recipe. I married into a Moroccan family and love the food and culture. I wasn't a big fan of spice before I met my husband. Now I find myself making harissa and putting a little tab in just about everything I make. Cheers to Moroccan food!

Michelle said...

So happy you like the Savory Spice Shop. I went there a few weeks ago and fell in love with their selection. I have a feeling I'll be making numerous trips there in the future.

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