Have you ever tasted Harissa, the Tunisian chilli mix
? I was introduced to it by Yotam Ottolenghi
who uses it in some of his delectable vegetarian dishes.
It’s got a unique chilli flavour, which can be fairly gentle providing you don’t heap it in there. I think it’s a great introduction to spicier food for little people – you can pair it with a yummy yoghurt drink
if they need to get used to spicy food. Harissa is so versatile. You can use it in place of sweet chilli sauce. I stir it through frozen prawns with veges for a quick stir fry, throw it in for a flavour change to my omelette and spread it on crackers with cheese. Tasty!
New Zealand made Harissa is lovely, and I’ve been using this one made in Nelson
, sold by Fresh Choice. It’s gluten free, but a little spicier than other brands I’ve tried. Have a poke around your local supermarket and specialty stores and see what you can come up with.
This recipe is warming and creamy – the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night. Serve it on top of rice or couscous, with crusty bread, or for a great high fat, low carb meal by it’s reasonably soupy self.
Creamy Harissa Slow Cooked Beef (serves 3-4 with an accompaniment).
This recipe uses 1 tablespoon of Harissa. How hot it ends up will depend on your brand of Harissa. Start off with 1 teaspoon if you think it may end up too spicy for your family. The flavour will not be adversely affected if you add in a little more after the coconut cream, which will balance out the spiciness nicely.
- 700gm blade steak or similar cut suitable for slow cooking
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp cumin
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 Tbsp Harissa
- 1/2 c beef stock
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- 1 can coconut cream
- Chopped parsley to serve
Heat a frypan to piping hot and add the coconut oil. Mix the dry spices (coriander, cumin, turmeric, pepper) in a small bowl. Dice the beef into chunks and rub with the dry spices. Brown in the pan. Once meat is browned, put it with any pan juices in your slow cooker.
Reduce heat in frypan to low. Dice onion and garlic. Toss around in pan with butter until clear (approx five minutes). Place this mixture on top of meat.
Stir the harrissa into the beef stock and pour over the meat with the can of tomatoes.
Cook on high in slow cooker for four hours, or low for six hours.
About 30 minutes before you plan to eat, stir the coconut cream into the slow cooked beef. If you do this too soon, the coconut cream can separate – you want it to just heat through. Sprinkle with parsley right before serving.
There's nothing better than closing the curtains on a cold evening and setting the table to warm up together over a dinner that warms the soul. Enjoy!
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