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

Ingredients
  

Stew

  • 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

Harissa

  • 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

Instructions
 

Stew

  • 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.

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.

VIDEO

Notes

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.

Nutrition

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




37 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    Liked this stew a lot. I cooked it to serve in a pumpkin for Halloween.
    I used premade HARISSA and added it to stew and added 1cup couscous to thicken it enough to put in pumpkin. A scoop of pumpkin in the stew at serving time and this boss.
    Next time I make the Harissa as directed.

  2. Liked this stew a lot. I cooked it to serve in a pumpkin for Halloween.
    I used premade HARISSA and added it to stew and added 1cup couscous to thicken it enough to put in pumpkin. A scoop of pumpkin in the stew at serving time and this is boss.
    Next time I make the Harissa as directed.

    1. Hi, Deborah, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! Love your idea to serve it in a pumpkin; the Moroccan spices go very well with pumpkin. Thanks again!

    1. Hi, Marek, Thanks so much for your question. Instruction #4 has to simmer on the stovetop for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. If you do the stew in a pressure cooker, it will take approximately 22 minutes on HIGH. Now, that’s not an Instant Pot, I have a Cuisinart electric pressure cooker which is faster than an IP. An IP will take 30 minutes or so. For a slow cooker, I would do 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Thanks again and hope you enjoy!

  3. Very good. First time using pressure cooker. Will make for wine tasting group. I served it over couscous, but could have been cauliflower rice. Good amount of sauce. Ok. I hate celery texture (raw or cooked), so used celery flakes. Did not notice your harissa part of recipe, so had leftover plain yoghurt and added cumin, coriander, harissa dry spice, za’atar, olive oil and vinegar to spoon over stew. Yummy. What would be a good side dish? Not that a side is needed for us, but company coming.

  4. 5 stars
    My mom went to a class about the benefits of turmeric, and I told her I’d find recipes that had turmeric in them, this…you! This dish is so amazing, and everyone that has had it had me send this link while still at the table. So…brava. My local store has a Harissa mix in the bulk spice section, so maybe people want to see about that where they shop. It was a mite less tasty than yours but it did save a step in a pinch.

  5. I thought this was recipe from a person from morocco. Anyway I am trying this tonight . I cant wait . I love this time of year were we can make yummy soups

      1. 5 stars
        My mom went to a class about the benefits of turmeric, and I told her I’d find recipes that had turmeric in them, this…you! This dish is so amazing, and everyone that has had it had me send this link while still at the table. So…brava. My local store has a Harissa mix in the bulk spice section, so maybe people want to see about that where they shop. It was a mite less tasty than yours but it did save a step in a pinch.

      2. Hi, Mark, Thank you SOOO very much! You really made my day! So glad you and your guests are enjoying this recipe! My mom would be so humbled and happy! Thanks again and please stay in touch!

    1. Hi, Emily, Thanks so much for your great question! It will depend on the amount of time you have the slow-cooker set for. For a 4-hour setting, I would add when one hour is left to go. Thanks so much and I adjusted the recipe to include that information. Hope you enjoy!

  6. Made this for dinner last night and it was really yummy. I also made couscous and ganished the with pomegranate seeds and parsley sprigs and it look really pretty.

  7. This looks great!

    when you are using a pressure cooker do you do a quick release so you can add the apricots and tomato in?
    Also after its finished the additional minute is it a quick or natural release?

    thank you!!

    1. Hi, Tasha, Thanks for your good question! I would recommend a slow release after the initial cooking period. If you release the pressure too quickly, the beef can seize up and become tough again. That extra minute at high pressure shouldn’t affect the beef too much and should be just enough to get the apricots and tomato soft. I’d still do a semi-slow release–not natural, not quick–somewhere in between. Please let me know how it goes!

  8. Hi,
    I’d like to try this recipe, it sounds delicious. But I wonder about the harissa…do you use all of this spices in one single meal, or do you mix the spices and then use just some of it (how much?) and keep the rest for later occasions?

    Thanks:-)

    Anne

    1. Hi, Anne,

      Thanks for your question. Use as much or as little as you want on the stew. If you don’t like things spicy, you could leave off if you like. Hope you enjoy!

  9. This looks delicious. Could it be doubled or tripled for the pressure cooker? I don’t have one, although do have access to my mom’s old (’40’s or 50’s cooker) and have considered buying one.

    1. Hi, Lee,

      Yes, it can be doubled. Pressure cookers have a limit as to how much liquid/contents you can place in them. There has to be some space left at the top. I highly recommend electric pressure cookers. (I have a Cuisinart.) You can set them and forget them and you free up a burner. Be careful of those old pressure cookers; they don’t have any safety measures built in. Thanks so much for your question. Let me know how it goes!

  10. This looks amazing!! I’m not very knowledgable when it comes to cuts of beef since we don’t eat it very often so thanks for the tips. When I do make beef it would definitley be in something so flavorful like this! Saving and sharing 😉