This dish originates from Algiers and is a good representative of the flavoursome Algerian cuisine. The richness of the beef, and the earthiness of the olives combine in perfect harmony with the heartedness of potato. The spice mix and garlic will cook down to a golden sweet sticky gravy that brings the whole dish together.
This is best prepared in a clay tagine dish, but you can also use a heavy stew pan or a pressure cooker. —touareg
beef, medium in size, preferably from the shank
Soak the olives in cold water for about 30 minutes.
In an clay tagine pot, fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste, but don't use too much salt as the olives are already salty. Add the bay leaf, beef, spices and brown for about 5 minutes on high heat, stirring to avoid burning the garlic.
Add hot water just enough to cover the meat, cover the tagine pot, or pan, reduce the heat and simmer for 2.5 hours (or long enough for the beef to be tender, this may take about 30 mins if using a pressure cooker).
Add the potatoes and olives and simmer for a further 30 mintes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. If the dish dries out, add some hot water.