I can usually be sucked in by anything even remotely Moroccan-inspired. Growing up, one of my favorite parts of Disney World was dinner at the restaurant in Epcot's Moroccan pavilion. I just cannot resist the spiced, slightly sweet combinations so prevalent in these dishes. So when I saw this Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash in the January issue of Cooking Light, I immediately put it on the menu for the next week. It even gave me a decent cover for butternut squash, which is not one of Vince's favorites, since he will eat just about anything that involves beef.
Basically an amped up beef stew, this tagine is a little spicy, a little sweet, and hearty without relying on fatty meat and heavy potatoes. I made a double batch, and the leftovers we ate for lunch later in the week were just as good as the fresh stew, if not better. I also simmered a little longer at lower heat, with more chicken stock, than the original recipe, with no ill effects.
Beef Tagine with Butternut Squash
What's in it:
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (1-pound) beef shoulder roast or petite tender roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 shallots, quartered
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-1 1/2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
How to make it:
Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Add beef; toss well to coat.
Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef and shallots; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Add butternut squash, and return stew to a simmer. Continue to simmer for about 30 min, until squash is soft and flavors have developed.