North african beef and root veg stew This warming winter stew by Riverford Organic Farms is perfect for using up surplus meat and veg. Best served with couscous or bread to soak up the juices. Swap beef for beans for an extra dose of green eating. Ingredients (Serves 4) 3 tbsp olive, sunflower of vegetable oil 450g beef braising steak, cut into 4 similiar-sized pieces 1 large onion 2 garlic cloves, crushed or finely chopped 2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated (or add 1 rounded tsp dried ginger to the ras el hanout) 1 rounded tbsp ras el hanout (if you can’t get hold of this North African spice, mix a large pinch each of cumin, coriander, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, cardamom, chilli or cayenne and black pepper. Cinnamon sticks can vary in strength, so taste at intervals and remove when the flavour reaches your liking). 800g mixed root veg (e.g. parsnips, carrots, celeriac and swede), peeled and chopped into large chunks 1 large glass of red wine (optional; you can use more stock instead) 400ml beef stock 1 cinnamon stick 1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained 100g pitted prunes Handful of chopped parsley and/or coriander Seeds from 1 pomegranate (optional) Salt and black pepper Method Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-based pot or casserole and fry the beef over a medium–high heat, turning it over so it browns on both sides. Remove to a plate. Add the remaining oil to the pot, turn the heat right down and add the onion. Fry gently, stirring often, for 10 minutes to soften without colouring. Add the garlic, ginger and ras el hanout and cook, stirring, for a couple more minutes. Return the beef and add the vegetables and wine (if using). Bring to a simmer and bubble for a couple of minutes. Then add the stock and cinnamon stick, cover and simmer gently for an hour. Stir in the chickpeas and prunes, re-cover the pot and simmer for a further 15 minutes, until the meat is totally tender. Sprinkle over the herbs and pomegranate seeds if using. Variation Replace the beef with diced lamb shoulder or lamb leg steaks. In this case, add a half teaspoon of turmeric and/or a pinch of saffron along with the ras el hanout and substitute dried apricots for the prunes. Recipe and photo kindly provided by Riverford Organic Farms.