There is something very special about Marrakech, It really does offer some very unusual experiences from rejuvenating hammams to camel rides and from alleyway shopping to belly dancing. What’s not to like?
The city is divided into 2 distinct parts, the Medina (historical city) and the Ville Nouvelle (modern city). For me the Medina is the draw with its biblical scenes of 3,000 winding alleyways or derbs. It has to be said that shopping is not for the faint hearted with some of the most pushy sales people you will ever encounter. I literally had a woman grab my hand and start to henna tattoo it while I was still walking and fighting to get my hand back!
Best of all are the spice stalls in the Souk. Their heady scents follow you round while your guide takes you to visit all the stalls that belong to his many cousins. The range of spices on display is baffling and loving their aromas as I do, it’s no surprise that I love Moroccan cuisine.
For more information on the top 100 things to do in Morocco- check out Jen Reviews’ blog here
I often try Moroccan cuisine and this beef tagine is one of my favourites. There’s a bit of work involved with the marinating etc but I can honestly say that it is worth the effort and always gets great feedback. Best of all, it brings back all the fabulous memories of Marrakech.
To make it you will need the following ingredients:
- 1lb stewing steak (cut into bite sized chunks)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- 2 tblsps vegetable oil
- 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 1 400g tin of chickpeas (drained)
- 4 ozs dried apricots
- 1 small butternut squash (peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks)
- 1 litre of chicken stock
- 1 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
- For the marinade:
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp. cinnamon
- 1 tbsp. ground ginger
- 1 tbsp. sweet paprika
- 1 tbsp. ras el hanout spice mix (The secret ingredient that adds the Moroccan magic!)
- Salt and pepper
- Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl, add the beef and ensure that it is all coated.
- Cover the mixture and put in the fridge over night
- Heat the oil in a pan and add the beef, stirring well to ensure it is sealed
- add the chopped onion and fry until soft
- add the tomatoes, butternut squash, chickpeas and squash and simmer for a couple of hours
- Stir well and simmer for another hour or so, adding water if it looks too dry
- I cook it in a slow cooker all day which makes the process very easy
- When you are ready to eat, with the toasted pinenuts
- Serve with a big bowl of couscous or rice
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