Braised Beef and Fig Pastilla
30 MIN
3 H

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


  1. In a large saucepan, brown half the meat at a time in the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside on a plate.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.