Thursday, January 6, 2011

Meat Tagine (Stew)

This is a Moroccan dish that is full of flavor. Traditionally, this is cooked in Morocco in a special clay pot with a cone-shaped top that creates a steam cooking effect. It usually cooks slowly for a large part of the day. There are many varieties- you can use more or fewer spices, as desired.  For those of use who do not have tagines, a slow cooker works great, although I have used the pressure cooker and it was almost as good, also. However, the meat and seasonings only should be pressure-cooked and then the other items added so as the keep some consistency. Don't be too intimidated by the list of spices. It is easy to put together and is versatile with beef, chicken, or lamb. You could even make it vegetarian with some meaty beans.  I saw Rachel Ray making this and have adapted the recipe somewhat. It is often served with couscous, but is also great over rice, millet, quinoa, bulgur or potatoes.


1 pound of meat, ground or chunked
2-3 Tbsp oil
2 large onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced (more or less as desired)
1 heaping Tbsp sweet paprika
1 heaping Tbsp cumin
1 tsp tumeric
1/2- 1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grill seasoning
1 tsp coriander
1 Tbsp chili powder
1  tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp ginger (optional)
1/2 tsp cloves (optional)
1/2 tsp allspice (optional)
1 Tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 cup raisins, prunes and/or chopped apricots
1 1/2 cups chopped sweet potato or orange squash/pumpkin
water/broth approximately 4-6 cups
chopped cilantro/ parsley, sliced green onion for garnish

Place the meat, onions, garlic, oil and dry seasonings together in a medium pot and brown. After the meat is browned and the onions are becoming soft, add the remaining ingredients, cover with water and/or part water and broth (beef is good for lamb and beef). Cook on low on the stove for approximately 1- 1 1/2 hours. Garnish as it is served.

If using a slow cooker, follow instructions for browning and add mixture into the slow cooker (3 1/2 quart should be adequate) with the other ingredients. Cover with water/broth and cook for on high for 3-4 hours (on low approximately 8 hours) or until meat and squash are cooked.

If using a pressure cooker, brown ingredients as listed above and then add all the other ingredients except the squash/pumpkin/sweet potato and dried fruit. Cook for approximately 15 minutes, cool enough to open cooker, then add squash/fruit and cook until squash is soft.

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