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a Moroccan beef tagine

Moroccan Beef Tagine (Beef Stew with Tomatoes & Onions)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Salima Benkhalti
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish, Entree
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Moroccan, North African
  • Diet: Gluten Free


This Moroccan Beef Tagine (also known as Makfoul) is made with tender beef or lamb, caramelized onions, tomatoes, and warming spices. It’s an aromatic, saucy beef stew that’s surprisingly simple to make, whether you’re using a tagine or dutch oven. 


Units Scale
  • 2 sweet onions
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lbs beef or lamb chuck roast, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
  • 2 tsp ras el hanout
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp parsley and/or cilantro, minced, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 12 large tomatoes, cut into rounds
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 56 threads of saffron, bloomed in 1/2 cup of water


  1. Slice & sauté the onions. Slice one onion into rounds and dice the other. 
  2. Cook the onions & meat. Heat the olive oil in the base of the tagine over medium low heat. Add the diced onion, meat, spices, and herbs. Cook, mixing to combine, until the onions begin to caramelize and the meat browns, about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add the onion rounds & tomato. Arrange the remaining onion (cut into rounds), tomato slices, and cinnamon sticks over top of the meat in a circular pattern. 
  4. Top with sauce & saffron. Pour the bloomed saffron & water over the tagine. Spoon some of the sauce from the base of the tagine over the onions and tomatoes. Bring the liquid to a boil.
  5. Cover & cook. Cover the tagine with the lid and lower to cook over medium low heat, or until the onions & tomatoes are fork tender and the beef is fully cooked, about an hour.
  6. Enjoy! Remove the cinnamon sticks. Enjoy your tagine with bread or couscous. 


Tip: Sautéing the onions isn’t a step my dad always did, but I find it really helps in getting a head start on the caramelization, resulting in a sweeter, more rich sauce.