Tunisian Beef Stew (Liftiyya)

"This recipe comes from the book "Real Stew". The name on the book was: Turnip,Tomato, Chickpea, and Spinach Stew with Beef from Tunisia (pretty long name). I'm posting the recipe as it appears on the book, but I made it on the crock pot, adding the chickpeas and spinach in the last 1/2 hour."
photo by MsPia photo by MsPia
photo by MsPia
Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • Roll the meat in Tabil and black pepper.
  • In a casserole, heat the olive the oil over medium heat.
  • Brown the meat with the onions until coated with a syrupy gravy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the tomatoes, 1 cup of the water, the Harissa, chickpeas, and cayenne, and bring to a boil, stirring.
  • Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the meat is tender, about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Add the remaining 1/2 cup of water, the turnips, parsley, spinach, and salt, season with black pepper, and cook until the turnips are easily pierced with a skewer, about an hour.
  • Stir in the lemon juice and serve.

Questions & Replies

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  1. We thought this recipe was fabulous. I used the hot version of jarred harissa (I wasn't sure which to use) but cut back on the cayenne to around 1-1/2 tsps. (figuring I could always add more). It was still on the edge of too hot for us (and we're pretty tolerant of heat), so I might cut back to 1 tsp. next time. But we loved the combination of flavors and textures and the fact that the veggies dominated; even hubby, who can be a bit "iffy" about turnips, didn't even realize they weren't potatoes until I mentioned it halfway through (hint, hint!). Served it with crusty bread for dunking tonight and over rice tomorrow. Yum!
  2. This was really good but a bit heavy on the turnips. Made for Traveling Through Tunisia NA/ME Forum 10/13.


  1. That's a wonderful cookbook, well worth purchasing!


I'm lucky to have had two amazing grandmothers with a passion for cooking.My Nona was from the north of Italy and Lolo was from Spain. Lolo used to make pickle fish. You would think that is a kids worst nightmare, but it was fabulous. I would kill for that recipe.My mother was also a wonderful cook. I grew up eating the most amazing food; her lasagna and Bolognese sauce are out of this world. I am originally from Argentina and living in Colorado for the past 25 years. As you can imagine, I love to cook, eat and entertain. I read cookbooks like novels. There is nothing that I enjoy more than traveling. I love the challenge of a new culture and a foreign language. Of course all my traveling is culinary oriented. Eventually I would love to move to Italy. Italians, in my opinion, have the perfect life style; Hard work in the morning, good food for lunch, nice siesta and out for a "giro" (go for a round) in the afternoons to visit with your friends over a cup of coffee. My daughter is a great baker; she has a natural talent for it. We can make the exact same recipe and hers ALWAYS tastes much better. My favorite products are seasonal, organic and fresh; I stay away from cans and pre-mixed stuff. I'm a proud member of the Slow Food movement. www.slowfood.com
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