(Printable recipe below)
Morocco is one of those countries we've always wanted to travel to. I've dreamed of exploring the busy souks, taking in the heady scents of spices, delicious tagines and nut filled sweets. Well, it may be sometime before we can fulfil that dream with the pandemic delaying travel plans for some time yet. So hopefully I've got your taste buds primed now for this mouth watering and fall apart beef brisket.
Full disclosure upfront! This is an amazing recipe from online that I've been making sometime. My family LOVES it and I think would have it every week if I let them. I've made a few adaptations to the original to suit our tastes.
Time warning!! This is a long cook - just over 4 hours, plus resting time. (But it's soooo worth it)
This recipe uses a rather large piece of beef (1.8kg) which is more than enough for a family of 4, with plenty of left overs for sandwiches. Ask your butcher to trim excess fat from the beef, or if you're confident with a sharp knife, do so before cooking. The spices give this dish such a depth of flavour and paired with the sweetness of the apricots, your tastebuds will dance!
The spices in the dish are not just flavour - they're packed with anti-oxidants - and did you know that cinnamon, turmeric, and cumin have all been indicated as spices that have the potential to lower blood glucose levels? While there's no shortage of iron in this dish (from the beef), it's good to know that dried apricots are also a great source of iron. All of this said, let's get started....
This meal is naturally high in fat, so it's definitely a sometimes meal. But I'm a big advocate of everything in moderation. Accompany this dish with a lean side such as freekeh salad, or cauliflower tabouleh. Use a low sodium stock and as delicious as it is, keep your portions small (2-3 slices of beef or around 100g in a meal).
Prep Time: 15 mins Cooking Time: 4.5 hours
Preheat oven to 180 celcius
In a large oven proof dish heat olive oil on medium-high
Season beef with salt & pepper and then brown in dish on all sides, around 5 minutes each side. Make sure you get some of the flavour packed caramelisation on the bottom of the dish.
Transfer beef to plate.
Add onion to pan and stir for 2-3 minutes until softened.
Add ginger, garlic and all of the spices and stir until fragrant - about 1 minute. (make sure you crack open the cardamom pods with a wooden spoon first, so the all the flavour is released)
Add beef stock and 1 cup of water - cook until starting to simmer
Return Beef to the pan, cover with lid or tight foil and place in preheated oven for 4 hours
Half way through the cooking (i.e. 2 hours), take pan out of oven and turn beef over, recover and place back in oven for remainder of time.
At 3 1/2 hours of cooking, put dried apricots around the beef, ensuring they're in the liquid to swell and get super juice. Recover and return to oven for remaining 1/2 hour.
Remove beef from pan and transfer to oven proof flat tray. Drizzle with honey and return to oven for 10 mins to allow honey to drizzle and caramelise over beef - but don't leave in too long or your beef will dry out. Remove apricots from liquids and place aside.
Remove beef from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 mins while you prepare the dressing.
Arrange beef on serving plate, scattered with apricots and chopped pistachios. Enjoy!
Combine reserved garlic, yoghurt and lemon juice in a bowl.
Transfer to serving bowl and top with pomegranate arils.
Serve on the side of your scrumptious dinner and dollop on top as desired!
Click here to download a printable recipe