Moroccan veal tagine with vegetables...
Earthy and substantial this Moroccan dish is the perfect one pot meal for a family of four. Meat in Morocco is almost never the main attraction in a dish, it's more of the nice surprise hidden beneath a medley of vegetables. Cooking a simple meat and vegetable dinner in an Earthy clay pot really makes all the difference, my favorite part of the meal is when a piece of meat gets slighly browned and stuck on the bottom of the pot. The chilis are placed whole over the vegetables for those who prefer a little spice in their meal. Curry powder is not traditionally Moroccan as most of you may already know but it is a favorite of mine. When buying curry powder try buying an Indian brand such as "Shams", Indian brands really have more of an Authentic taste and the curry is not as powderized as the ones in American brands. The vegetables in this recipe will work well with as much as 1 kilo of meat, adjust the spices accordianly. Another unorthodox Moroccan methon I use is slighly browning the meat on both sides on a seperate pan, it may not be traditional but it will cut the cooking time in half and the end results will still be the same.
1lb veal steaks or chump chops with bone
2 large onions, thinly sliced
2 to 3 large potatoes
2 large carrots
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon tumaric powder
3/4 teaspoon ginger powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
2 1inch pieces cinnamon bark
2 green chilis (optional)
3 tablespoon oil
1 to 2 cups water as needed
Place the tagine over a diffuser under medium low heat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non stick pan and lightly brown the meat on both sides. Add 1 tablespoon of oil into the tagine and place the meat in the center.
Saute the onions in the oil remaining in the pan until they are translucent. Add the chopped garlic and cilantro and cook for 2 minutes. Add the ginger, tumeric, curry power, salt, and pepper and saute to combine. Add approximately 1/3 cup of water and raise the heat to high, cook the spiced onions for 2 to 4 minutes. Pour the onion mixture over the meat adding an additional 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water. Place 1 piece of cinnamon stick on top of the onions and the other in the broth, sprinkle the saffron over the onions and cover the tagine.
Lower the heat to a low simmer.On a stove from 1 to 10, 10 being the highest cook the tagine in number 4 to 5 heat. Cook the tagine for 30 minutes, then remove the top to check the level of broth and tenderness of the meat. At this point if the meat is not yet tender, add 1/3 cup of water and cook for 20 extra minutes.
Meanwhile peel 2 to 3 large potatoes and cut into 6 to 8 pieces depending on the size of your potatoes. Cut the zucchini in half then cut each piece in 4 (8 piece total per zucchini). Peel the carrots and cut them into small sticks or about the size of small fries. Cut the stems off of the chilis. Set aside.
After 20 minutes remove the top from the tagine and check the meat, the meat should be almost tender. Place the potatoes and zucchinis around the meat. Place the matchstick carrots over the meat and place the chilis on top. Sprinkle the vegetables with a little salt a pinch of curry powder and saffron if desired.
Add 1/3 cup of water around the rim of the tagine and not directly over the meat or vegetables. Cover and cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the tagine for the heat and serve with crusty bread.
Note, the tagine method is one that never fails me. It may not be "as" traditional but it works for me.