Tis the season to be extra busy and there is no exception in the Balch house. On top of shopping for Christmas presents and holiday parties. My son is working toward a Boy Scouts merit badge in rock climbing and my daughter just won her first foil competition. Plus she is participating in a softball clinic.
|My son is the boy at the top of the wall.|
So when I looked at this recipe... first I knew I would have to substitute beef for lamb, because I would have needed to pre-order the lamb from the butcher's shop, and that wasn't going to happen!
|My daughter is to the left. The girl with the crazy socks.|
Reading through the ingredients the flavors appeared to be strong enough that they didn't need fussy attention. This recipe was ripe for slow cooker adaptation.
I just layered the onions, chile pepper, apricots and beef in the crockpot. Whisked the rest of the ingredients together. Poured the sauce over the meat and 8 hours later we had an exotic flavorful meal. The juxtaposition of the sweet apricots to the spicy chile pepper balanced by the coriander and other Near East seasonings made for an exceptionally delightful meal.
I served it over quinoa instead of couscous to accommodate my wheat allergy.. really a terrific meal for a rainy winter day.
Slow Cooker Beef & Dried Apricot Tagine
by Diane Balch
adapted from Dorie Greenspan's "Lamb and dried Apricot Tagine" in Around my French Table
preparation: 20 minutes cook time: between 4 to 8 hours serves: 4 to 6
3 onions chopped
1 cup of dried apricots (I chopped them...more kid friendly)
1 chile pepper (I used an ancho pepper.)
2.5 pounds of round stew meat beef pre-cut.
1/2 cup of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 pinches of saffron
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger ( I use Gourmet Garden's in a tube.)
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon of ground coriander
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of pepper
1 cup of chicken broth
2 tablespoons of corn starch
1 13.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes (do not drain)
Garnish options: toasted almonds, fresh cilantro
1) Put apricots in a measuring cup. Cover them with water and microwave on high for 1 minute. Let them sit and plum while you prep the rest of the recipe.
2) Chop onions put on bottom of crockpot. Put chile pepper on top of onions.
3) Whisk together all of ingredients for the sauce except the tomatoes. Once you have whisked everything else together gently mix the tomatoes into the sauce.
4) Drain the apricots of water and layer them on top of the chile pepper. Top the apricots with the beef.
5) Pour the sauce over the beef make sure all of the beef is submerged or covered with tomatoes.
6) Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 6 hours.
7) When stew is cooked remove chile before serving over: couscous, quinoa, rice or potatoes.
Note: As a member of French Friday's with Dorie I am not allowed to print the recipe. I invite you to take a look at this wonderful cookbook "Around My French Table" if you are interested in this or any other recipe I review.