Moroccan Tagine

1 Feb

With Green Gourmet K on temporary leave (we miss you already!), the Green Gourmets will occasionally be publishing some guest posts from our foodie friends and family. Here is a lovely Moroccan Tagine from Guest Poster K- enjoy!

by Guest Poster K

I have loved food for a long time, and I take pride in being able to put together a meal not just for myself but one worthy of sharing with friends on a pretty tight budget. But as the issues and calamities of our food system are getting more attention (deservedly so), the choices we make at the market are not always so simple. It is easy to get bogged down by too many choices, and trying to decipher what’s the right choice. Do I go local versus organic all while trying to keep my budget in check? There are times when I haven’t planned ahead and haven’t made it to the market, need to go to the gym, still have to buy groceries and am left standing among aisles of food comparing what the USDA approves as organic with the foods I grew up with. After all of the confusion, it’s easy to lose a bit of the joy that good food brings to our lives. But then sometimes all of the factors come together in just the right way for aperfect meal. So here’s to Aunt Sally…

Inspiration for this meal came from my good friend Patrick’s Aunt Sally and her guiding influence on his life, a desire to preserve lemons, and the need to test a beautiful tangine to determine its status as cookware or simply decorative. In my freezer were two beautiful, bison osso bucco cuts from Gunpowder Bison, waiting since the fall trip to the country for the right occasion to present itself. The recipe below is a close adaptation from, Moroccan Cuisine by Paula Wolfert.

Directions

Soak a cup of prunes in cold water. Set aside.
In the tangine over low heat, melt 3 ½ oz of unsalted butter, 3 tbsps olive oil, a pinch of saffron, 1 tspof ground cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground ginger, 3 tbsps grated onion, and 4 sprigs of cilantro tied together with twine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Once the mixture begins to meld together, place the meat in the pot. Cook for a few minutes on each side then add enough water to almost cover the meat.Note this is not the same as braising since the ceramic tangine can’t get hot enough to brown the meat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for an hour.

During this time we made the start of preserved lemons in preparation of our next Moroccan feast, (stay tuned ) and ate some wonderful pate.

Once the meat has simmered for an hour, add a thinly sliced small to medium onion, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add drained prunes, along with 1-2 tbsps of sugar or honey, ¼ tsp cinnamon. Uncover the tangine and simmer until the prunes soften and the liquid reduces to two-thirds, about 30 minutes.

At this point if you haven’t already, pour some wine and enjoy the incredible aroma that is now filling your house. You have a choice at this point to either catch up on daily trivial life pursuits or solve the world’s problems.

When there is about ten minutes left in the cooking time for the tangine, cook the couscous. For two people we added 1 cup of Israeli couscous to 1 ¼ cup of stock, with an extra pinch of saffron becauseat this point you are fully embracing this experience. In a large skillet sauté peeled, quartered apples in some butter, cinnamon, and sugar.

We used two Pink Ladies and two Granny Smiths from Eastern Market farm stand. These varieties can be found late into the winter season and provide just the right balance of sweet, tart, and crispness to hold up in the pan yet add a subtle creaminess to the palate ofthe dish. I saved half of the apple peels to add to salads and composted the rest.

Dinner is served!

We enjoyed this seasonal meal with a lovely Bordeaux picked up for the bargain price of $7.99. The robust flavours filled our bodies and spirits just as icy rain began to fall outside. And I was given a renewed sense of what Slow Food truly is, good, clean, fair, and enjoyed from preparation to finish with friends. A glass of Italian dessert wine and gingersnaps rounded out the finish. So cheers to Aunt Sally and Buon apetito a tutti.

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One Response to “Moroccan Tagine”

  1. Patrick February 3, 2011 at 10:14 AM #

    Excellent! Aunt Sally is smiling right now.

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