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Beef Tagine with Roasted Cauliflower

Quentin Bacon

Servings: 4 to 6

Beef tagines can be very good indeed. After hours of slow simmering, the meat comes out buttery and soft, and the sauce acquires excellent flavor. The spicing in this dish follows the Marrakesh style, while the particular preliminary browning of the meat is Tetuanese.

This recipe is excerpted from The Food of Morocco. Read our review.


  • Coarse salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 5 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 lbs. beef short ribs or 2 pounds bone-in beef shoulder, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1- to 1-1/4-inch chunks
  • 1 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, preferably Moroccan
  • 1 medium white or red onion, grated
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 2-lb. cauliflower
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes or cayenne, or to taste
  • 12 oz. Roma (plum) tomatoes, peeled, halved, seeded, and chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


  • Heat a tagine, preferably flameware, set on a heat diffuser over medium-low heat until warm. Mix 1 teaspoon salt, the pepper, and turmeric with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil and add to the warm pan.
  • Add the beef and sauté gently until golden on a ll sides. Place a crumpled piece of parchment directly over the meat, cover tightly, and cook for 15 minutes, without lifting the cover. (the meat will cook in its own juices, drawn out by the salt over low heat; do not add water.)
  • Add the paprika, ginger, cumin, grated onion, half of the herbs, and 1/2 cup water. Cover again with the parchment paper and the lid, and simmer gently for 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and has fallen off the bones.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Cut the cauliflower in half, then cut each half lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush a jelly-roll pan with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes and gently toss with the cauliflower. Spread the cauliflower out in one layer on the pan and roast for 15 minutes. Use a spatula to turn the slices over and roast for another 15 minutes, or until lightly caramelized. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with paper towels or a kitchen towel, and set aside.
  • Remove the meat from the tagine and remove and discard the bones. Return the meat to the tagine and lightly brown in the fatty juices. Tilt the pan and spoon off and discard the excess fat. If necessary, add a few tablespoons water to make a smooth sauce.
  • Scatter the cauliflower, tomatoes, and the remaining chopped herbs over the beef. Bring to a boil to reheat. Correct the seasoning with salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and the lemon juice, and serve at once.


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Reviews (1 review)

  • moebears | 05/13/2015

    This was really good. The reason for 4 stars, not 5, is because I felt it needed a bit of something...sweet. I added some golden raisins, a good pinch of brown sugar, some cinnamon and cardamom, and that was it. I also threw in a few carrots cause I like lots of veg. It was terrific served with the cauliflower.

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