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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Beef Tagine with Olives and Potatoes



It is bitter cold in Chicago so for the first time since I’ve been back from Brazil I felt like making a tagine. As usual, I did not take out my tagine but rather used my beloved pressure cooker. Not because I am lazy, but because of the short time I have available to prepare my meals during busy days as a halal mama of four.



People have a vision that a stay-at-home mom spends her day watching Oprah, baking cookies and working out. Well, perhaps some women have this schedule but that is not my reality and that of my best friends. First, there is the fact that I still have two rumbustious toddlers at home who not only require my undivided attention but also lunch and a lot of snacks. Then, there are my older kiddos with their busy schedules, extracurricular activities, homework, and so much more. Not to mention, there is taking care of the home and laundry which never take pity on me. Well, enough of that, let’s get to the recipe because it is time to run again!



Tagine Lham Bel Ptata Wa Zitoun (Beef Tagine with Olives and Potatoes)

About 1 ½ lb beef cut in cubes
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
About 1 tsp ground ginger
About ¾ tsp paprika
About ¾ tsp turmeric
About 10 Saffron threads, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp parsley, chopped fine
Cilantro bouquet (about 10 cilantro springs, tied with cotton string)
About 4 potatoes, peeled and quartered
About 1 cup green olives
About 4 plus cups chicken stock, vegetable stock or boiling water
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Heat olive oil in pressure cooker and add ginger, paprika, turmeric, black pepper and saffron. Add meat and brown on all sides.

Add onions and garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes mixing. Add parsley and salt to taste being specially careful if using already salted stock. Put cilantro bouquet and hot stock or water.

Lock lid in place, bring to high pressure and cook for about 20 minutes. Release pressure according to manufacturer's directions. Remove lid.

Meanwhile, if your green olives are very salty, put them in a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil, letting it cook for a couple of minutes. Drain and set aside.

Discard cilantro bouquet, add potatoes, green olives and more hot water/stock if necessary. Once more, lock pressure cooker lid in place, bring to high pressure and cook for about 5 minutes until potatoes are tender but not overcooked that they easily fall apart.

Transfer to serving dish, arranging potatoes around the meat.

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