All The Pretty Ingredients = Rice Extraordinaire!

Soups / July 8, 2013

You understand that for every success in cooking there are sinks, trash cans, and recycling bins teeming with the fallout from horrible mistakes. That’s why most cooks go so ga-ga when something you’ve created, comes out as good, or BETTER than you imagined.

That’s what happened with this dish.

As you may recall, inspiration often happens in the aisles of a grocery store, and it can be compounded by something you buy for another recipe and then see it in a new light later on. Bring on the pitted dates that looked like they felt sad I had passed them over for an another appetizer choice the other day. “Gosh, we really thought you’d fill us with cheese and lace us with herbs and let us tickle the palate of your friends.” They bemoaned. So I decided late yesterday to make them the star of what would have been an ordinary meal had I left them in the pantry to whine.

Take a look at this easy and exciting recipe combining some ready made ingredients and a some happy accidents.

Moroccan Beef Stew with Saffron Rice

Serves 8-10


2 ½ lbs cubes of good stew meat
7 oz sliced baby bella mushrooms
1 ½ C pitted Kalamata olives
1/3 C golden raisins
3 C carrots sliced
4 C Yukon gold potatoes cubed
3 Knorr beef bouillon cubes
4 C boiling water
3 T olive oil
1 t salt, ½ t pepper
3 T all-purpose flour
4 t good dried Moroccan spices medley (I used Fresh Market Moroccan spice and marinade
½ medium to small white, sweet onion diced small
4 large cloves garlic, chopped finely
Handful fresh, chopped cilantro
4 C Yellow saffron rice


  • In a large saucepan, boil 4 C of water. Add the 3 beef bouillon cubes and remove from heat. Stir to combine.
  • Unwrap the room temperature meat and put in large bowl. Add the 3 T flour and the salt and pepper and toss coat to on all sides. Preheat a large Dutch oven on medium high, then add the olive oil, and brown the meat in two batches. Do not crowd the meat. Sear only, about 3 minutes on each side until caramelized. Remove and set aside,
    Remove pan from heat.
  • Add about 2 cup of the hot beef bouillon liquid to the pan and deglaze the bottom, working to scrape up all the browned bits of meat. Turn the heat on to medium and add the onion, garlic and mushrooms. Let come to a boil and cook for about 3-4 minutes, until the onions are soft. Put the rest of the bouillon in the pan, and add the meat back in with the juices, and add the 4 teaspoons spice mix. Stir and then cover the pot and put in the oven at 325 degrees F. Let the meat braise for 1 hour and 40 minutes.
  • Remove Dutch oven from oven, and stir in the Kalamata olives, the raisins, the carrots and the potatoes. Cover the pan with the lid on the pan leaving an opening for the steam and let cook on a low heat (as long as there is some bubbling you’re good!) for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft but NOT mushy.
  • At this stage, you can remove and either store for the next day or leave on stove for an hour or so and then reheat when you’re ready to serve. When ready to serve, stir in the fresh cilantro.
  • If desired, cook 4 C of yellow Spanish rice with saffron and have ready at the same time.
  • To serve, put ½ C of the rice on the bottom of a bowl, cover with about a cup of the stew.

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