Beef stew is a delicious dinner option on those cold winter nights. But if you're tired of the same old savory version, sweeten it up with some dried fruit and spices.
When the wind blows and the temperature drops below 50 degrees, there's nothing better than a big bowl of beef stew. The smells that emanate from the kitchen and all those yummy vegetables simmering on the stove for hours make my mouth water. Although stew takes a little extra time to make, it's always worth the wait. There's only one problem -- I've been making the same stew for years and while it's delicious, I really wanted to add some new flavors to my pot. Luckily Family Circle came to the rescue with their Moroccan version. It still had all the basic ingredients, but instead of potatoes and carrots, they added prunes and apricots. As someone who loves combining sweet and savory flavors and absolutely adores apricots, I knew this stew was not only going to be special, it was going to be a welcome addition to the dinner table.
Moroccan beef stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1-1/2 cups beef stock
- 1 cup pitted prunes, chopped
- 1 cup fresh or dried apricots, chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach
- Pat the cubes of beef dry with a paper towel. Pour the flour, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper into a resealable bag. Place half the beef in the bag, seal it and toss the beef until it's covered in the flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the floured beef and brown on all sides, two to three minutes. Transfer beef to a plate and repeat flour coating and cooking with remaining beef. Transfer beef to plate and set aside.
- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic to the pot. Cook for three to five minutes or until tender. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaf and cook for another minute.
- Add a quarter cup of beef stock to the pot and stir for a minute, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Pour in the rest of the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, return the cubes of beef to the pot, cover and cook for 90 minutes.
- Stir in the prunes and apricots and cook, covered, for another 15 minutes.
- Stir in the spinach and cook, uncovered, for five more minutes. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper and serve.
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