Braised beef with cranberries & spices

Braised beef with cranberries & spices

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(8 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 35 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins plus reheating if frozen

Skill level



Serves 8

Slow cook beef with cinnamon, saffron, coriander and harissa for a deeply fragrant rustic casserole

Nutrition and extra info

Additional info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 thick braising steaks, 1kg meat in total
  • 2 large onions, very finely chopped, preferably in a food processor
  • 4 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 25g ginger, peeled and cut into slivers
  • good pinch saffron
  • 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds
  • 1.2l hot beef stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 85g dried cranberries

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  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add the steaks 4 at a time and brown them well on both sides, then transfer to a plate. Now add the onions, garlic and ginger to the oil, plus juices left in the dish, and fry for at least 15 mins, stirring very frequently, until they are golden and soft. Add the saffron, cinnamon sticks, coriander, harissa and ground almonds, and stir well for 1 min.
  2. Tip in the stock, then return the meat to the dish. Add the bay leaves, cover and simmer for 1 hr. Remove the lid and cook for another 1 hr 30 mins, checking occasionally to ensure the mixture doesn’t catch on the bottom. Add the cranberries 10 mins before the end of the cooking time so they can plump up in the gravy. Check the beef after the cooking time – it should pull apart easily with 2 forks. If not, add a splash more water or stock and cook for another 30 mins. Remove cinnamon and bay leaves.
  3. To freeze: Cool completely, then pack into freezer bags. Use within 3 months. Thaw in the bags at room temperature for 5-8 hrs depending on the bag size, although batches of 2 can be unwrapped and reheated in a pan with a little water in the base. This will also keep in the fridge for a couple of days if you don’t want to freeze it. Serve with mash, rice or couscous (or gluten-free alternative).

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2013

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Leopoldoni's picture
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This was amazing! I don't really like stewed beef recipes that rely on tomato and so thought this would be a good alternative. I used 800g of braising steak and so only added about 1l of water, but needed a splash extra at the end. I also used 2tbsp of harissa paste and thought it was just perfect, while my husband is hoping I will use twice as much next time! Cannot wait to have the leftovers as another meal in a day or two. This would be the perfect kind of recipe to make for a dinner party.

emmapr's picture
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This was delicious. I had some rolled beef brisket which I left whole. I sealed as per the recipe. After adding all the ingredients, I put the covered pan in the oven at 150 and left it for about 4 hours. Added the cranberries at the end, but left the lid on. Flavours were amazing and the meat just forked apart. Served with roasted sweet pot cous cous.

jadeclev's picture
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This was amazing. Would make a few adjustments next time though. Look on tips. It was lovely though

k8bradley's picture
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Yummmmmm! Cooked in the slow cooker so used less stock and added a few squirts of tomato purée to help thicken. Really tasty and full of flavour will definitely be making again. Didn't think it was spicy at all and it was a hit with our 4 and 1year old!

gilliebeans's picture

Halved this recipe for two and it was lovely. It definitely needs a tablespoon of Harissa paste although we do like it fairly hot.

gilliebeans's picture

A great recipe. I halved everything for 2 people but next time would use a flat tablespoon of Harissa as we like it spicey.

murder's picture

Are you sure it should be 1 TBSP of Harissa paste?
This was too hot for most of my guests.

O Metcalfe, France

hilaryys's picture

Delicious! Beef stews of one kind or another feature regularly in my winter menu but this made a really lovely change - excellent flavours and very easy!

susieone's picture

Very easy to halve and very easy to make. Full of flavour too. Excellent recipe, thank you.

patriciaf's picture

A real winter warmer, very easy to make and so much flavour. Brisket was on offer so I bought a joint and cut into steaks and it just melted in the mouth, needless to say it didn't get as far as the freezer.