Monday, 15 July 2013

Moroccan Beef with Spiced Flatbreads

It's week 2 of the Pick 'n Pay Freshly Blogged challenge! Voting has opened and this is the recipe I produced for the second round - a Moroccan inspired beef dish served with delicately spiced flatbreads.

The ingredients list for this challenge was as follows: beef shin, beef suet, Knorr beef stock pot, a soup pack (containing various vegetables), star anise and white wine vinegar.  We were allowed to omit 1 of these ingredients and add one grocery and two fresh items of our choice. I decided to use all the ingredients on the shopping list and add in an onion, fresh coriander and ground cumin.

As I pondered the ingredients list the first thing that came to mind was slow cooking - the cooking method best suited to beef shin. This got me mulling over stews and casseroles, which turned my thoughts to tagines and then to Morocco, which then got me thinking about my favourite spice - cumin! I don't need any excuse to use this versatile and warm seasoning in my cooking, and so I decided to make a Moroccan inspired beef "stew" served with lightly spiced flatbreads to soak up all those lovely juices.  

I have to admit that I have never used suet before, it isn't the most appetising ingredient to use. But I was excited to try something new and decided to incorporate it into the flatbreads. I would have saved myself some trouble if I'd asked the butcher to mince it for me! Nothing my good old stick blender couldn't sort out, but if you're making this recipe try and get minced or shredded suet to save yourself the extra work.

If I'd been able to add other ingredients I probably would have included some extra spices - some turmeric and a pinch of chilli would have gone well with this dish I think, but even without these spices this dish was super tasty with the cumin and star anise turning ordinary beef into something special. The beef shin was deliciously tender and coated in a thick, rich gravy which my family enjoyed scooping up with the warm flatbreads - a wonderfully hearty winter supper which I'm sure you'll also love. 

If this sounds good to you please pop onto the Freshly Blogged website VOTE for my recipe. (Prizes to be won!) Thank you to everyone who voted last week - let's keep it going! 



Serves 3

500g beef shin
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped celery
3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm slices
1 teaspoon star anise
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 Knorr beef stock pot
500ml water
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the flatbreads (makes 6):

2 cups plain flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
60g beef suet, minced or shredded
210ml warm water

Step 1.) Cut the beef shin into 2-3cm cubes. Combine the flour and cumin with a pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper, then toss the beef in this mixture and set aside.

Step 2.) Heat the sunflower oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion, celery and carrots and fry for 2 minutes. Add the star anise pieces and cook for a further minute.

Step 3.) Add the beef to the pan and brown for 3 minutes stirring constantly. Add the white wine vinegar, cover the pot and leave to cook over a low heat for 5 minutes.

Step 4.) Add the Knorr beef stock pot and the water to the pot and mix well. Replace the lid and cook over a gently heat for 1 - 1.5 hours (stirring every 20 minutes or so) until the beef is very tender.

Step 5.) While the beef is cooking you should prepare your flatbreads, see separate instructions below.

Step 6.) Try as best you can to remove the star anise pieces from the beef stew, then stir in the chopped parsley and coriander. Allow to simmer for a further 5 minutes with the lid off.

Step 7.) Season the beef with salt and pepper. Dish onto warmed plates, top with some parsley or coriander leaves and serve with freshly made flatbreads.

To make the flatbreads:

Step 1.) Sift the flour, cumin, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add the suet. Mix everything together.

Step 2.) Add most of the water to the flour and mix to combine. Continue adding water until the dough starts coming together, then tip onto a work surface and knead for 5 minutes until you have a soft dough. Place the dough back in the mixing bowl, cover the bowl with a tea towel and allow to stand for 30 minutes.

Step 3.) Divide the dough in half, then divide each half into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Dust your work surface with a little flour, then use a rolling pin to roll each ball into a circle about 2-3mm thick.

Step 4.) Heat a dry griddle pan over a medium to high heat. Place the flatbread in the pan and cook for 1.5 minutes. Flip the flatbread over and cook the other side for a further 1.5 minutes or until it starts to char and puff up. Repeat with the other 5 flatbreads.

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