Beef & cardoon tagine

Beef & cardoon tagine

A Month in Marrakesh
David Loftus

You can also make this with lamb or veal. If you can’t find cardoons, substitute them with artichokes or celery.


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1.5kg stewing beef such as topside or chuck, cut into 5cm pieces
1 large onion, peeled and sliced
garlic, sliced
1 celery heart, trimmed and chopped
1/2 teaspoon * ras el hanout [rid:1553]
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground saffron
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon see method for ingredients
1 tablespoon fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
cold water
2 lemons, halved
1.5kg cardoons
200g purple olives, drained and pitted

To serve

Quantity Ingredient


  1. Heat the olive oil in a casserole dish, or tagine, over a medium heat, then add the beef and brown for 5–7 minutes. Transfer beef to a plate.
  2. Add the onions, garlic and celery to the casserole and soften for 5–7 minutes. Add the Ras el Hanout, cumin, ginger, saffron, turmeric, tomato purée, coriander and parsley, then cook for 5 more minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper. Return the beef to the casserole dish and add enough water to just cover the mixture. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  3. Meanwhile, add half a lemon to a large bowl of cold water. Remove the tough outer stalks of the cardoons, separate the stalks and wash in cold water. Remove the strings from stalks with a sharp knife or potato peeler, placing the stalks immediately into the bowl of cold water to stop the cardoons from discolouring.
  4. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil over medium heat. Cut the cardoon stalks into 6cm pieces and add to the boiling water. Bring the water back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the cardoon stalks are almost cooked. Drain then stir into the beef tagine and add with the remaining lemon halves and the olives during last 40 minutes of cooking.
  5. Serve immediately with couscous.
North African
A Month in Marrakesh
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