Not a whimsical purchase on our part, we had every intention of cooking with it as we were inspired by the gift we had given to our friends last year. We even cooked in the tagine the weekend we purchased it and were quite delighted with the outcome. Yet, it retired itself to the shelf of collectibles for the next few months.
Giving the seemingly lazy tagine a break, its usefulness is most appreciated on a leisurely weekend afternoon. Finding the leisurely afternoon problem is on us, not the tagine. Finally a free Sunday afternoon presented itself and we asked the tagine to take the stage...front and center. The entertainment of choice (i.e. the recipe) was a variation of Jamie Oliver's Beef Tagine. If you're interested in Jamie's recipe click **here**.
Our adaptation of ingredients and a summary of the recipe we created are outlined below. If you do not have a tagine, it can be prepared in a dutch oven as well. We've done it both ways with great success.
|Massage the spice rub over the meat, refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours before cooking|
This recipe calls for using the whole cilantro stem (a nose to tail approach creating no waste). Check out our mise en place prep.
After the meat has seared, add the onion and cilantro stems. Reserve the leaves for garnish at the end.
Cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the rinsed/drained chickpeas and chopped tomatoes.
Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. We used our homemade chicken stock but store bought is fine too. If you need a homemade recipe for stock check out John's take on stock making.
Bring to a boil, reduce and cover simmering for 1.5 hours.
This would be a good time to play a game of chess!
After attempting to beat John (an hour and half later), added the prunes and the cauliflower. If it looks dry, add a bit more stock or water. No, I didn't win the game.
Gently stir what was just added and put the lid back on for another 1.5 hour simmer. In the meantime, I found this terrific recipe for homemade pita bread and now would be the perfect time to make it. If you want to make your own, I can highly recommend fellow food blogger, Half Baked Harvest's recipe. Click *here* to make it yourself. So soft and chewy you will NEVER go back to store bought.
After the final simmer, your beef stew is ready. Garnish with a heavy load of cilantro leaves and sliced almonds. So perfect for a winter afternoon.
- 1.5 lbs of stewing beef
- Spice rub:
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp Ras El Hanout (Moroccan spice)
- Olive oil
- One onion, peeled and finely chopped
- A small bunch of cilantro
- (1) 14 oz can of chickpeas
- (1) 14 oz can of chopped tomatoes or 1 large freshly chopped tomato
- 3.5 cups of chicken broth
- (1) small cauliflower head .. florets only
- 3.5 oz of dried prunes roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp of sliced almonds