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  • Writer's pictureSARAH

Beef, carrot and prune tagine with jewelled cauliflower couscous

This gorgeous main course is easy to prepare, and will sit happily in an oven or a hot plate until you’re ready to serve. Just add an extra cupful of beef stock or water to keep it from drying out. The cauliflower is the perfect accompaniment and is also low GI and gluten free. Ideally wash and dry the cauliflower the day before you want to make the couscous so it is dry.


1kg beef cut in 3 -4 cm cubes 2 tbsp vegetable oil 2 medium onions sliced 3 - 4 cloves garlic minced 1 x 450g tin chopped tomatoes 600ml beef stock 2-3 large carrots peeled and cut in thick slices 200g prunes 10ml lemon juice 2 tbsp honey Chopped flat leaf parsley Spice mix: 2 tbsp ground cinnamon 1 dsp each of ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric 1 tbsp paprika 1-2 tsp coarse black pepper 2-3 tsp dried ginger 1 - 2 tsp smoked paprika 1 dsp garlic granules 1-2 tsp chilli powder or flakes For the cauliflower: 1 large cauliflower 1 tbsp oil divided into 2 100g each of dried chopped apricots and of raisins/sultanas 4 spring onions sliced 100g toasted flaked almonds 50g pine nuts 50g of each of chopped pistachios and sunflower or pumpkin seeds Seeds of half a pomegranate A handful each of chopped parsley and coriander A medium to large hob safe casserole pan with a lid


Put the cubed beef in a plastic bag with 2 - 3 tablespoons of the spice mix. Give the bag a good shake and leave to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Heat the oil in the casserole over a medium heat and fry the onions gently until translucent. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds before adding a tablespoon of the spice mix and stirring to coat. If it sticks add a splash of water. Add the beef and stir for a couple of minutes.

Add the stock, tomatoes and carrots; season with salt and pepper, stir and turn the heat down to a simmer. Cover with the lid and cook for about 90 minutes.

Remove the lid, stir in the prunes, lemon juice, and honey and cook for a further 30-45 minutes uncovered to reduce the liquid if serving immediately or covered if you want to put it on the hotplate.

Taste and adjust the salt, lemon juice or honey before garnishing with the parsley.

To make the cauliflower couscous: Break the cauliflower into small florets. Wash and dry well. Remove as much stalk as possible from the florets and then process in batches until it resembles couscous.

Add half the oil to a large frying pan, and stir fry half the cauliflower for about 4-5 minutes, tip into a large heatproof serving dish or foil and repeat with the rest of the cauliflower and oil.

When ready to serve, stir through the rest of the ingredients and garnish with the chopped herbs.

If you want to hold this on the hotplate, add the pomegranate and herbs just before serving.

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