A Tagine loaded with sweetness and flavor.
In terms of the Moroccan cuisine there are just some dishes that are absolutely MUST HAVES for me. One of those dishes is the Tagine with veal, prunes, and grilled almonds. The different ingredients in this Tagine create the perfect balance between sweet and salty together with the incredibly intense spices that are so characteristic of the Moroccan cuisine.
It is also possible to make this dish with lamb – this would only make it better – or alternatively beef. I used veal as it is what I had available at the time and easier to get ahold of than lamb.
Tagine is the Berber word for a clay pot with a cone shaped lid which is often used in the Moroccan cuisine. Similar to a casserole, the food is left to simmer, and the steam rises through a small hole in the top of the cone-shaped lid.
If you choose to make the dish in the beautiful green Tagine , of which you can find matching plates, bowls, and platters, you can put the Tagine directly into the oven and use it as a serving dish.
Only the sky’s the limit for what you can cook in a Tagine – fish, chicken, beef, lamb together with numerous vegetables and spices.
Serves 4 people
800-1000 grams of beef/veal/lamb cut into square pieces
2- 3 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cinnamon
10 saffron threads – dissolved in a bit of water
1 beef boullion cube
2 tbsp. tomato purée.
Oil for frying
1-2 glasses of water
Salt and pepper to taste
250-300 grams stoneless prunes
1/2 dl water
1 tbsp. syrup
A large handful of blanched almonds roasted on a frying pan.
Fresh, chopped coriander and/or parsley (optional)
Season the meat with all the spices, being sure to mix it thoroughly (this can also be done the day before). Heat up the prunes, water, and syrup together in a small pot and let it boil for about 15 minutes before putting it aside. Cut the onions into small pieces and brown them in a pan with a bit of oil. Add the meat to the same pan to brown. When the meat has browned add the tomato purée, water, and bouillon.
Place the meat and sauce in a Tagine. Put the Tagine into the oven at 150-170 degrees Celsius for an hour (or on a grill at low heat). NB: If you are making the dish in the white tagine it is also possible to let the dish simmer over a gas burner/stove. (If you have the green tagine stick to the oven or a gas/propane grill as only the white Tagine can handle a direct flame).
Roast the almonds until golden in a pan with a bit of oil. Let it cool.
Take out the Tagine, add prunes and put the Tagine back into the oven for about 30 minutes.
Before serving, scatter with the almonds and coriander/parsley, if using. Goes well with homemade French fries, potatoes, rice, and/or fresh bread.
Good to know!
Goes well with: I often serve this Tagine with fresh bread on the side. It also goes well with homemade French fries, rice, potatoes, or cauliflower rice.
Seasoning: When it comes to seasoning and the amount of spice to use, the Moroccan cuisine often works by rule of thumb. I do the same, which means I love experimenting and vary the amount of spice I use depending on my mood. I view cooking as a way to express oneself. Therefore, feel free to adjust the dish to your liking. You can for example leave out coriander and cinnamon or add a bit of chili for some extra spiciness.
Cooking time: Like seasoning, the cooking time is not set in stone. When making a Tagine it is perfectly fine to let it simmer for hours. If you make sure there is enough liquid left in the dish, the Tagine cannot overcook.