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Moroccan Beef Harira with Labna

This Moroccan dish is full of flavour and will satisfy the largest of appetites. Perfect for cold nights or long lunches, this dish is even better the next day for lunch!

Moroccan Beef Harira with Labna

Serves 6
¼ cup olive oil
1kg beef chuck steak, cut into 2-3cm pieces
2 red onions, finely chopped
¼ cup coriander root and stem, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp ras el hanout (Moroccan spice mix)
1 cinnamon quill
7 cups chicken stock
4 tomatoes, chopped
½ cup puy or blue lentils
1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked in water overnight, drained
½ cup long grain rice
½ tsp saffron threads
300g tub Persian labna
Coriander leaves, to garnish
1 tomato, cut into 1cm pieces for garnish
12 slices sourdough or gluten free bread of your choice, toasted

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish over a high heat. Sear beef in 2 batches. Set aside.

Reduce heat. Add remaining oil, then onion, coriander, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until tender.

Stir in ras el hanout. Add cinnamon, stock and tomatoes, re-add meat. Cover and simmer, gently for 1 hour.

Add lentils and chickpeas. Cover and cook beef for 30 minutes or until steak is tender. Meanwhile, cook rice according to packet instructions. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons of liquid.

Soak saffron threads in 2 tablespoons of boiling water. Add to soup with rice and reserved liquid. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Serve soup in bowls with spoonfuls of labna. Garnish with coriander and tomato. Spread rest of labna over toast to serve with soup.

Tip: Using low-GI foods including lentils, long grain basmati rice and labna ensures a slow release of sugars into your bloodstream, as well as promoting a feeling of satiety.

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