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Sunday, January 17, 2016

Beef Tagine

A tagine is an earthen pot that is originally named after the North African dish - tagine in which is was cooked in. The traditional method of cooking tagine is to place it over coals. This method of cooking tagine is similar to how we do slowly cooked stews.

Moroccan and African tagine dishes are slow cooked savoury stews, typically made with sliced meat, fish or poultry together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts and dried fruits are also used. A typical tagine dish would be lamb with dates and spices. Tagines are generally served with bread. If you are curious why the tagines look like this, it is because the domed or conical shaped covers trap steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook the meat and vegetables.

I came across Jamie Oliver's beef tagine which was from his show 'Jamie does Spain'. To be honest, I think this recipe is pretty simple and what you need is probably time instead of being a great chef. Basically, the ingredients boost the dish alot more than you think.

Ingredients:

600g beef (remember to buy the beef stew cut and cut it into cubes)
olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped (I used about 3 onions as I like the sweet taste of onions)
1 small bunch of chopped coriander
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tin chopped tomatoes
800ml vegetable stock (I only used about 300 to 400ml chicken stock so use accordingly)
1 small squash, deseeded and cut into cubes
100g prunes, stoned and roughly torn
2 tbsp flaked almonds, toasted

Marinade ingredients:

salt
black pepper
1 level tsp ras el hangout spice mix (I used moroccan spice rub)
1 level tsp ground cumin
1 level tsp ground cinnamon
1 level tsp ground ginger
1 level tsp sweet paprika (I used chilli powder)

Method:

  1. Place the beef cubes into a bowl and add all the marinade ingredients and mix well until the beef cubes are well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. It would be good if you can marinade it for a few hours, better yet, over night.
  2. Heat up the tagine or casserole and fry the meat about 5 minutes until the meat begins to brown.
  3. Add chopped onion and coriander and fry for another 5 minutes or so. 
  4. Add the drained chickpeas and tomatoes, then pour in about 300 to 400ml stock and stir. Bring it to a boil and put the lid on the pot.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place your pot in the preheated oven for about 90 minutes.
  6. At this point, give the stew a good stir with your spoon and add squash, prunes and stock (if needed). Let it cook for another 30 minutes.
  7. Alternatively, you may cook it over the stove instead of cooking the tagine in the oven.
  8. Once cooked, check the consistency of the tagine by using your spoon to stir it. It should be fairly thick. The beef should be tender and flaking apart, taste the stew and add some salt or pepper, if needed. 
  9. Scatter more coriander leaves and toasted almonds and dive in with couscous or warmed bread.


I love how beautiful this new tagine pot looks on the stove. Hopefully it will serve many more good dishes apart from tagines.


I love how soft the stewed beef and squash taste like. The chickpeas, tomatoes and prunes give it a well-rounded flavour for the whole stew. I think Mr G did like it a lot too. It is our first time 'travelling' to Morocco with its food. Maybe one day we will make it there to try it in person :)


                           
I'm also submitting this post to Cooking with Herbs January 2016: Herbs and Citrus organized by Karen of Lavender and Lovage.

Cooking with Herbs January 2016: Herbs & Citrus Fruits
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