Braised Beef and Fig Pastilla
- 2 lbs (1 kg) boneless beef flap steaks, cubed
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) cayenne pepper
- 2 cups (500 ml) chicken broth
- 1 tomato, diced
- 6 dried figs, chopped
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) honey
- 8 round or square sheets Brick pastry, about 12-inch (30-cm)
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) butter, melted
- Salt and pepper
- In a large saucepan, brown half the meat at a time in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate.
- In the same pan, brown the onion. Add oil, if needed. Return the meat to the pan and add the spices. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat the meat. Add the broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer very gently for about 2 hours and 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the figs and honey. Reduce, uncovered, until the broth is syrupy. Adjust the seasoning. Let cool.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 200 °C (400 °F). Butter a 33 x 23-cm (13 X 9-inch) baking dish.
- On a work surface, brush a sheet of pastry with melted butter. Cut the paper in half and stack in a cross shape. Spoon 1/8 of the braised meat in the centre. Fold the dough over the filling so as to give a round shape to the pastilla. Place, folded side down, in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned.
Brick is a pastry made from flour, water, and salt. This very thin pancake comes from North Africa and is especially used for pastilla, a Moroccan specialty. You can buy the sheets of pastry in Middle Eastern grocery stores.