Beef, Root Vegetable, and White Bean Tagine

Sarah Huck

Kos Kaffe, Brooklyn

This dish is a bit unconventional as tagines go, with the root vegetables and white beans standing in for the more traditional chickpeas. I made this tagine as a spontaneous lunch item one winter day at the café, when it was bone-chillingly cold outside and I wanted everyone’s bellies to feel warm and full.

This is a recipe from our digital cookbook, "A Place at the Table" featuring our Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program alum. Download the full cookbook.


6 servings


2 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Kosher salt

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, smashed  

1 medium parsnip or turnip, diced

Half of a bunch cilantro, stems and leaves separated and finely chopped

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

1 teaspoon harissa paste

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cinnamon stick

Large pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) saffron threads

Freshly ground black pepper  

1 quart beef stock

1 (15 ounce) can white beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup pitted dried dates, thinly sliced

1 preserved lemon, pulp removed, skin thinly sliced  

Chopped toasted almonds, for garnish

Cooked couscous, for serving (optional)


Preheat the oven to 325° F, with the rack in the center position.

In a large bowl, pat the meat with paper towels and season with about 2 1/2 teaspoons salt. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until the oil is shimmering. Working in batches, add the meat in a single layer and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Transfer the meat to a large plate and set aside.

Add the onions, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the parsnip, chopped cilantro stems, coriander, ginger, harissa, turmeric, cinnamon, cinnamon stick, saffron threads, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Saute until the mixture is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Return the beef and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Stir in the stock, beans, dates, and preserved lemon. Cover the pot and transfer it to the oven. Cook until the meat is tender and beginning to fall apart, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper if needed. Garnish with the chopped almonds and chopped cilantro. Serve warm with couscous.