This easy and flavorful beef tagine takes 50 minutes in the Instant Pot (after coming up to pressure) and tastes as though it's been simmering all day. With Israeli couscous to soak up all the flavors, it's a one-pot meal fit for a celebration.
Shabbat and tagines, the fabled, well-spiced Moroccan stews, were made for each other: a big, family-style, celebration of a dinner that can be pressure-cooked for Friday night or slow-cooked for Shabbat lunch. In this case, we're going with pressure cooked, so this is a dish I serve for Shabbat dinner. The Instant Pot is ideal for cooking tough cuts of meat and lentils, both of which make appearance in this Moroccan beef tagine. Alongside the cubed beef and chickpeas, there are raisins for contrast and Israeli couscous and potatoes to make it into a full meal. All told, give yourself an hour and a half minimum (most of it spent in hands-off pressure-cooking mode) and as much extra time as you like, as the tagine will stay nice and warm, and get more succulent yet, if you let the pressure release naturally.
Ingredients for Instant Pot beef tagine
The ingredients list for this is a bit on the long side, but once you have everything out, the recipe goes fast. You'll want to get cubed beef for stewing for this tagine. Then, there's the onion, garlic cloves (they just get roughly chopped, no need to mince), canned chickpeas, yellow potatoes, golden raisins, and a cup of Israeli couscous (also called pearl couscous or, in Hebrew, ptitim), which you can read more about here and here. And the spices are: cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cinnamon, mixed up with a few tablespoons of tomato paste. You can use either beef or chicken stock here, or substitute soup powder (bouillon).
Prepping the tagine
There are two stages to prepping the tagine: first, browning the onions and meat using the sauté function, then toasting the spices briefly along with the tomato paste. For the second stage, you turn off sauté and dump in the rest of the ingredients (potatoes, chickpeas, raisins, couscous) and pour the stock over everything. Set it to cook for 50 minutes on high pressure, giving it about 15 minutes to come up to pressure. All told, the dish takes about an hour and a half start to finish.
With the Israeli couscous inside, it's truly a one-pot meal. You can dress it up by adding salads and, of course, bread for dipping into the sauce.
Instant Pot Beef Tagine with Israeli Couscous (meat)
- Instant Pot
- 1 ½ lbs stew meat - 750 g
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion - diced
- 4 garlic cloves - rough chopped
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- salt - to taste
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ¼ cup red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 3-4 yellow potatoes - peeled and cubed
- 1 can chickpeas - rinsed and drained - 15 oz / 425 g
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 1 ¼ cups beef or chicken stock
- fresh parsley - chopped, for garnish
- Turn the Instant Pot on the sauté function. Heat the olive oil while dicing the onion. Add the onions to the pot and cook until softened and browning, 4-5 minutes.
- While the onions are browning, peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves, and peel and cube the potatoes.
- To the pot, add the meat and the chopped garlic. Brown the cubes of meat lightly on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Sprinkle the meat with the spices: cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and salt, to taste. Sauté for 1 minute more.
- Add the tomato paste, vinegar, and honey. Stir everything together until well combined. Finally, layer in the potatoes, drained chickpeas, raisins, and Israeli couscous. Pour the stock over everything and turn off the sauté function.
- Cover the Instant Pot and set the valve to sealed. Set the cooker to Manual Cook at high pressure for 50 minutes.
- You can either release the pressure manually or let it release naturally, if you have the time. Stir well after opening. You can turn on the sauté function for a few minutes to thicken the sauce if you like.
- Let the pressure release and give a stir. The meat should be tender and break apart easily. If you prefer it less juicy, return to sauté function and cook off some of the liquid. (Note that it will thicken a bit as it sits)