Sunday, 16 September 2012

Tapenade, and Moroccan Beef Stew with Olives

 Fragata, who are a specialty Spanish food brand, sourcing authentic Spanish food for the UK, and worldwide are running a competition with my favourite Spanish chef José Pizarro, where I could win a the opportunity to spend the afternoon in the kitchen cooking alongside him! Imagine that!

So with that for motivation, my task was to create two dishes using olives. 
They sent me a hamper containing olives stuffed with anchovies, pitted black Spanish olives, Spanish olives stuffed with garlic, Pimiento Piquillo peppers, capers, and Piri Piri hot peppers.

Fragata hamper

So for starters, I'm making Tapenade served on crusty bread. I found, and adapted, a recipe on the BBC Food website by James Martin.



Ready to make a Tapenade paste

Simply put the garlic, lemon juice, capers and olives stuffed with anchovies into a food processor and blitz for about 10 seconds. Add in the chopped black olives and chopped parsley and enough olive oil to make a paste.
Tapenade paste

Serve on some crusty toasted bread. It's a powerful flavour which gives you an initial 'whoa, stand back!' feeling, but they are more-ish and delicious, I had four!

Tapenade served on crusty bread

For main course, I'm serving a Moroccan Beef Stew with Olives. I made this recipe once before and have it stuck in my cooking scrapbook, just waiting to be called on again. The recipe is for meatballs, but I thought a  nice slowed cooked beef stew would be better. 

Moroccan Beef Stew with Olives


For the marinade:
500 g cubed beef
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 small onion, chopped finely
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
salt to taste
olive oil

For the stew:
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
4 pimiento piquillo peppers
small bunch of parsley, chopped
4 large vine tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
juice of two lemons
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
3 tbsp green olives (stuffed with garlic), quartered
3 piri piri peppers
salt to taste

4 eggs (although two is enough, for two people)


Firstly, marinade the beef in the marinade for at least an hour.

Next, brown the beef on a high heat for about 2 minutes, then remove and set aside, covered, while you do the sauce.

To the same pan that you used to brown the meat, add the garlic, onion, piquillo peppers, and sauté for about 10 minutes.

Next, add in the remaining ingredients (apart from the eggs!) and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes until it's a nice thick gravy. Then return the meat to the pan and simmer for as long as you can, at least 30 minutes, on a low heat.

About 10 minutes from when you want to serve, begin to make your cous cous to serve on the side.

Cous cous


200 g cous cous
handful of pine nuts
handful of raisins
1 small red onion, chopped


Simply fry the onion, raisins, and pine nuts in some olive oil for about 5 minutes. Then put your cous cous in the pan, turn off the heat, cover with boiled water and let it absorb (it shouldn't take much longer than 3-4 minutes - add a little more water if needed).

While your cous cous is cooking, add your eggs to the top of the stew, and let them poach gently for about 3 minutes. I like mine runny!

Carefully spoon the stew onto a serving plate, trying to keep the eggs intact! Serve with the cous cous.


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