Moroccan Beef Stew

4.53 from 87 votes
2 hours
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Moroccan Beef Stew is hearty, flavorful and perfect for a chilly night!  It’s perfect slowly simmered on the stovetop, in the oven or pressure cooker.

Photo of Moroccan Beef Stew with Harissa in white bowl garnished with celery leaves. and harissa

The inspiration behind this recipe:

My mother, Ann Ramczyk, was an award-winning cook.  Besides winning numerous local and state cooking competitions, she represented Wisconsin twice at the Pillsbury Bake-Off and twice at national beef and chicken cook-offs. This Moroccan Beef Stew was the first-place winner in the 1988 Wisconsin beef cook-off.

Photo of woman in red apron at beef cooking contest.

Tips for making Moroccan Beef Stew:

  • I’ve made some adjustments to her recipe over time, but some things Mom just knew best — like using a chuck roast for the stew meat and hand-trimming it.
  • To this day, I don’t purchase anything labeled “beef stew meat,” which is often bits and pieces of a variety of cuts that can result in different meat textures within the stew.
  • When I make this dish, I purchase about a 2 1/2 to 3-pound chuck roast.  After trimming and cubing it, I have just over two pounds of meat that I’m confident will yield a consistent texture throughout.
  • Mom used canned pineapple for her winning dish, but I prefer the sweetness of dried apricots instead.
  • Mom slow-cooked her stew on the stovetop.  However, my secret weapon for getting stews done quickly is an electric pressure cooker.  She never used the old stovetop pressure cookers because of their reputation for exploding.  However, today’s pressure cookers — both electric and stovetop — are extremely safe.  An added bonus with electric pressure cookers is they are often 3-in-1 devices that also include a rice cooker and slow cooker.
Photo of Moroccan Beef Stew with Harissa in white bowl garnished with celery leaves.
  • Just lock the lid, set the pressure and timer and you can move on to another task.  When the stew is done, release the pressure on any pressure cooker as gradually as possible.  If done too quickly, the meat can toughen up.
  • Electric pressure cookers don’t go all the way to 15 psi (pounds per square inch) of pressure. If using a stovetop pressure cooker, you will need to adjust the cooking time because they DO go that high.
  • To make the stew another old-fashioned way, you can also do it in a 325-degree oven for about the same amount of time as on the stovetop.

My final touch is to add the harissa, a spicy condiment common in North African cuisine.  Garnish with celery leaves (another frugal tip from Mom) and serve with couscous or rice.

Hope you enjoy and please share this From A Chef’s Kitchen reader favorite!

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Moroccan Beef Stew

4.53 from 87 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Moroccan Beef Stew is hearty, flavorful and perfect for a chilly night!  It’s perfect slowly simmered on the stovetop, in the oven or pressure cooker.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Moroccan
Servings 4
Calories 358 kcal



  • 1 (2-pound) chuck roast - trimmed and cubed into approximately 1-inch cubes
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 stalks celery - chopped
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 2 large carrots - sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic - sliced
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 3 small plum tomatoes - coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup dried apricots - coarsely chopped
  • Celery leaves - for garnish


  • 2 dried chipotle peppers
  • 4 dried New Mexico chili peppers
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • Salt - to taste



  • Combine flour, salt and pepper on a plate and dredge beef pieces.
  • Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven and brown beef evenly in batches. Pour off excess drippings.
  • Combine the paprika, coriander, turmeric, cumin, ginger and cayenne and sprinkle over beef. Add the celery, onion, carrot, garlic and beef broth.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and cook 1 1/4 hours to 1 1/2 hours. Alternately, combine the ingredients in an electric pressure cooker and cook on high for 22 minutes.
  • Add the apricots and tomatoes and cook an additional 15 minutes on the stovetop or 1 more minute on high in the pressure cooker.
  • Garnish with celery sprigs and serve with harissa.


  • Place peppers in a small saucepan with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil. Turn off heat and let stand 20 minutes.
  • Remove stems and seeds and transfer to a food processor or blender.
  • Combine cumin and coriander in a dry, nonstick skillet and toast briefly until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  • Add to the peppers along with garlic, olive oil and red wine vinegar. Blend to a smooth paste. Season to taste with salt. Serve with stew.



ELECTRIC PRESSURE COOKER:  Follow the directions for your brand of electric pressure cooker.
MAKE AHEAD:  Stews are generally better when they have an opportunity for the flavors to marry. Cook up to two days ahead and keep refrigerated.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY:  Cool thoroughly and place in an airtight container. Freeze up to 3 months.  Thaw in the refrigerator.  Reheat in a 350-degree oven until heated through.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 358kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 1664mg | Potassium: 850mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 7902IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 87mg | Iron: 3mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    This is my favorite stew. I love the apricots and the amazing flavor. A snowstorm is coming and I will be cooking this. Thank you!

    1. Hi, Nancy, Thanks so much and so happy you love this recipe! A snowstorm is the perfect time to enjoy this stew with all the warm spices. Thanks again and I appreciate your taking the time to come back and comment.

  2. 5 stars
    So delicious! I made the pressure cooker version in my Ninja Foodie. In the Foodie I browned the meat then removed it, softened the veg then added it all together moving from sauté to pressure cooker. For the Harissa part I simply added pre-perchased harissa spice to olive oil and the red wine vinegar, drizzling it on top of the delicious stew. Ate it on a bed of rice and had yummy left overs. Thank you for the recipe!

  3. Thanks for the recipe. I’m making it tonight. One thought though: Do you always soften the dried chilies before you deseed and devein them? I find that it works far better and a lot easier if you deseed and devein when they are dry as the seeds just fall out. I make moles all the time and all the traditional mole recipes I use recommend this approach. Cheers!

    1. Hi, Charles, Thanks so much and yes, that’s a great suggestion. I have been wanting to get this post updated with all sorts of new/better information. Thanks again!