Beef with prunes

Beef with prunes



Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons olive oil
1kg chuck steak, cut into chunks
2 white onions, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 teaspoons ras el hanout
3 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
400ml rioja red wine
650g chopped tomatoes
500ml water
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
150g no-soak pitted prunes
1/2 bunch mint, finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
boiled or buttery mash potatoes, to serve


  1. Heat 1½ tablespoons of the olive oil in a large high-sided, heavy-based frying pan. Brown the beef in batches over a high heat and transfer to a casserole.
  2. Add another 1½ tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook the onion for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes. Sprinkle over the spices and cook, stirring constantly, for another 3 minutes. Finally, add the chilli and cook for 2 minutes, then tip the contents of the pan into the casserole with the beef.
  3. Pour the red wine into the pan to deglaze it, stirring the wine with a wooden spoon to make sure you get all the caramelised bits from the bottom of the pan, which are full of flavour. Reduce for 5 minutes then pour over the meat.
  4. Add the tomatoes and water to the casserole. Season with 2 teaspoons of sea salt and a good grinding of black pepper, and stir the casserole once.
  5. Cover the casserole tightly with the lid and cook in the oven for 2 hours. Check from time to time that the dish is not drying out and if it looks like it is add a bit more water.
  6. Remove from the oven and stir in the prunes and fresh herbs. Replace the lid and allow to stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serve with boiled or buttery mash potatoes.
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