Like many recipes that are considered to be traditional American dishes, this recipe is actually a variation of Hamburg Steak that comes from Germany. Although it could be served with something else, mashed potatoes are the natural accompaniment, especially with the rich brown gravy. It s an inexpensive way to feed a crowd, but that doesn't mean that it isn't packed with flavor and something that people will truly enjoy.
We purchased a decorative tajine during our trip to Morocco, but it was too small to use for actual cooking. Since we really wanted to try and recreate some of the meals that we ate, we ended up buying a full size tajine and have used it several times. We made our version of a Moroccan beef with sweet potatoes that had a nice spice and made for a wonderful meal. Although we cooked it in a tajine, a Dutch oven works just fine as well. The meat was very tender and the spices were warm and fragrant, but not spicy. It was an easy dish to make for a weeknight meal for the two of us, but could easily be done for a larger gathering as well.
1 lb Beef Shoulder Roast – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Ground Ginger
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/8 tsp Ground Black Pepper
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Shallots – quartered
2 Garlic Cloves – thinly sliced
1/2 cup Chicken Broth
1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes – undrained
1 Large Sweet Potato – peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
Combine the paprika, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Toss the beef cubes with the spice mixture being sure that each piece is evenly coated. Heat a skillet to medium-high heat and add the vegetable oil. Add the shallots and beef and cook for about 4 minutes until the beef is browned on all sides. Add the garlic and cook for another minute and then transfer the beef, shallots, and garlic to the tajine including all of the pan drippings (if using a Dutch oven, the beef can be browned in the Dutch oven). Add the sweet potato, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes to the tajine and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Place the lid on the tajine an place in the center of a pre-heated oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and cook for about an hour and a half or until the potatoes are fork tender. Serve as a stew or over a bed of rice.
During the time that we spent in Frankfurt, we enjoyed a wide variety of restaurants, especially French, Italian, and Thai restaurants. Because we went out for lunch and dinner almost every day, we looked for places to eat that were located around our apartment where the staff was friendly, the food was good, and the atmosphere was inviting. There was a restaurant near the underground train station that we used almost on a daily basis that became our go-to place to eat and have a glass of wine. The restaurant was called the Brasserie, but unfortunately it closed down shortly after we left Frankfurt.
Located next to Alte Oper (the old opera house), the Brasserie was basically a French Bistro with fresh food of the finest quality. We enjoyed many wonderful meals at the Brasserie, but probably our favorite meals would have been the plate du jour, which obviously changed daily. Like many European restaurants have a somewhat limited menu, but everything we ate there was truly delicious. The meals were not particularly expensive, despite being in the heart of the tourist area and only about a ten-minute walk from our apartment.