Beef stew with dates

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Ingredients

Serves 6

  • 1kg stewing or braising beef
  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, dry roasted
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, dry roasted
  • 5cm fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large handful of fresh coriander, stalks and leaves separated, both chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 100g pitted dates, chopped
  • 500ml stock
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon

You will need a pestle and mortar, a hand blender and a large oven proof casserole dish with a tight fitting lid.

Timings

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours 25 minutes

Beef stew with dates

I created this recipe on a cold, wet day in January when I was yearning for a dark and sticky stew with melt in the mouth meat and a high contrast between sweet and sour. It’s a great meal to leave in the oven while you pop outside for fresh air and vitamin D, and then snuggle back in to the warmth for a bowl full of utter heaven. My kind of food.

Method

Preheat the oven to 160/315/gas 2-3.

In a frying pan, dry roast the seeds over a high heat for 4 minutes or until they start to pop. Place them in a pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Add the chopped fresh ginger, garlic and chilli to the pestle and mortar, and grind again to a rough paste.

Place the dates in a small saucepan and cover with a little water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and once simmering, take off the heat and leave to the side. Finely chop the fresh coriander stalks and add to the dates. Next add the spice paste from the pestle and mortar to the dates. Using a hand blender, blend the dates, coriander and spices to a thick dark gooey consistency.

Toss the beef chunks in ground ginger and season well with salt and pepper. Heat the rapeseed oil in a large frying pan over a high heat and brown off the meat in batches. Remove from the heat and place in the casserole dish. Repeat with the rest of the meat until finished.

Return the beef’s frying pan to a medium heat and add the onions and date paste. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring all the time.

After 4 minutes, add 200ml of the stock to the frying pan and using a wooden spoon, scrape off any remaining beef or date paste. Add the liquid to the casserole and stir. Add the final 300ml stock, lemon juice, cinnamon stick, honey to the beef stew.

Season well with salt and pepper and bring to the boil before turning down to a gentle simmer. Place it in the oven and cook for 2 hours, or until the beef is tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Serve with basmati rice, green beans and mangetout. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Dizzle_Favicon

A tin of drained chickpeas at the beginning of cooking will be a delicious (and nutritious) meal. This is a great meal for the freezer. If you have any leftovers (unless they are being eaten in the next 5 days), be sure to box and label them carefully and pop them in the freezer for that day when you don’t feel like cooking. We all have them!”

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