Moroccan Lamb/Beef Tagine
Posted by fourclankitchen on January 4, 2010
I fell in love with Moroccan Tagines in Leuven, Belgium. These dishes, Moroccan curries if you will, are flavored with preserved lemons and olives on the one hand and spices associated with desserts and rich curries on the other. They are then slow-cooked in a clay pot of the same name producing an incredible flavor fest for the tongue.
For those of us that don’t own a Tagine, this dish can be slow cooked in a Dutch oven with very satisfying results. I have adapted this recipe from The New Basics (Rosso and Lukins). I made the following changes to the original: I cut the meat in half and added a whole slather of vegetables that I had on hand (almost any vegetable, squashes, root vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes, celery, chard, spinach, peas, will work). Since I never have beef stock, I substituted chicken stock. I did not have preserved lemons and omitted the olives, because neither N nor I will eat them. Since this took out the sour/briny/bitter end of the flavors associated with this dish, I added 2 chopped tomatoes and increased the cinnamon a little to add depth to the dish. Instead of cooking it on stove-top, I cooked it in the Dutch oven for 2 hours at 350˚F. I serve it over couscous as recommended or with polenta.
The Spice Mix: Mix together:
2 tbs. oil.
4 cloves garlic
½ tsp powdered ginger
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika (Hungarian)
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp salt.
The meat and vegetables:
1.5 lbs lean lamb or beef stew meat
1 large onion, finely minced (use a food processor if you own one)
2 carrots, sliced thick
1 cup cubed sweet potatoes (or butternut squash)
1 large Yukon gold potato, cubed
3 stems of chard, leaves coarsely chopped, stems finely chopped
2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 ¾ cup chicken stock
1 cup water
1/8 tsp saffron threads.
1 cup peas/chick peas/frozen corn (optional)
¼ cup cilantro finely chopped (optional)
Place oven rack in the lowest rung and preheat to 350˚F. Add the spice mix to the lamb/beef and turn to coat. In a 10 quart dutch oven, add 2 tbs of oil, sauté the onions till soft, about 5-7 min. Add the meat and brown, about 5-7 min. Add all the vegetables, except the tomatoes and peas/corn (if using). Saute for a few min., till the chard leaves cook down a little. Add the saffron, chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil. Place in the oven and cook for approximately 1.5-2hours min. or till the meat is fork tender. Add chick peas, corn/ peas if using and garnish with cilantro. Adjust the salt. Serve with couscous or rice or eat as a soup.