Monday, 13 October 2014

slow cooked harissa spiced beef stew

Autumn slow cooking at De Tout Coeur Limousin
slow cooked harissa spiced beef - cooking at De Tout Coeur Limousin

With Autumn here the slow cooker is well and truly out and soups and stews are on the daily menu here at De Tout Coeur Limousin.  The Limousin region is internationally renowned for its beef. Cattle are raised in large pastures on national parkland and are known for their quality and flavour. Our friend Charlotte at Maison Bussiere wrote more about Limousin beef here on Travel France Online.

Harissa is a common spice paste here in France - linked to the Moroccan and North African influence on the country.  Commonly used as a spicy accompaniment to couscous and tagines - it's also great added to marinades for meat or vegetables.  Harissa is usually flavoured with chilli, bell peppers, garlic and caraway however there are numerous variations depending on region and personal taste. One of my favourite recipe variations is this one from my old food blog for rose harissa chilli sauce

Although I often make my own harissa paste you can of course use a good shop-bought harissa in this recipe. 

serves 6 

preparation time: 10-15 minutes
cooking time:  4-6 hours 

Cooking tip:  Regarding cooking time the longer the better - you can keep it on a very low/slow heat for up to 8 hours just keep checking to make sure it doesn't dry out.  You can add a bit of stock/water if this is happening.  It's done when the beef is tender and you can cut it with a spoon. 

recipe author:  De Tout Coeur Limousin 


1kg stewing beef cut into large chunks (I of course used the local Limousin beef)
2 onions - roughly chopped
3 carrots - roughly chopped 
3-4 cloves of garlic crushed.  
250ml red wine
1 whole fresh chilli
2 tbs harissa paste
1 tbs black treacle (or use a dark brown sugar/honey if you can't get black treacle) 
3-4 bay leaves
2 star anise
splash of red wine vinegar
2 tbs oil
salt and pepper to taste
2-3 tbs chopped fresh parsley, coriander or mint to garnish


  1. heat a large frying pan, add a few tbs oil and seal the beef for a few minutes until browned then transfer to the slow cooker or a large lidded casserole dish.
  2. deglaze the pan with the red wine and vinegar and make sure you get all the 'sticky bits' from the bottom of the pan then add to the slow cooker/casserole dish.
  3. add all the other ingredients, cover and cook on a low heat for 4-6 hours/until tender (see cooking tip above).  
  4. garnish with chopped fresh coriander, mint, or parsley (or a mixture).  
  5. I like to serve this with some wilted spinach and couscous and a bit of extra harissa on the side - but it's just as good with mash, rice or some good bread. Bon appetit!
What are your favourite Autumn and slow cooked recipes?  Do get in touch and leave a comment below.  

My recipe for slow cooked harissa spiced beef is also featured this month on: 

Cooking with Herbs for October: Scarborough Fair Herbs

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage

cooking with herbs hosted by Lavcnder and Lovage

credit crunch munch with  a new addition blogfuss free flavours and


Shop local hosted by Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary 

Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary

Slow Cooked Challenge hosted by Farmersgirl Kitchen


  1. oh my goodness that does look good. I love this kind of fall apart beef and I can just imagine how delicious that would be with the addition of treacle. Thank you for joining the #SlowCookedChallenge

    1. Thanks Janice - we love slow cooking here - lots of stews and slow cooked soups for the colder weather. Do you have a favourite 'go to' slow cooker recipe? Looking forward to more inspiration on the #slowcookedchallenge too :-)

  2. I love my slow cooker and I love harissa. This looks and sounds so lovey for this time of year.

    1. Me too! The slow cooker gets a lot of use in this colder weather. Any fave recipes?

  3. This sounds absolutely heavenly! I want this on my plate so much right now! Thank you for sharing with Shop Local :)

    1. Thanks for hosting :-) will be making your mash next time I make this as an accompaniment :-)


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