Fragrant veal tagine with raisins and onions...


The first time I went to Morocco and was served a savory tagine topped with dried stewed fruits I was nauseated by the thought of just putting that in my mouth. Little did I know the dish would become one of my all time favorites. I usually top this tagine with at least 1 cup of stewed raising but being that my Mother in law is diabetic, I top it with 1/2 cup and use less sugar/honey (if any) when stewing the raisins.

1 1/2lbs veal (may also use lamb or beef), bone in cut into large pieces.
2 large onions, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander
1 tablespoon finely grated, fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dry ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon "Ras al hanout"
2 two inch pieces, cinnamon bark
1/4 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
1/3 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper (white or black)
salt to taste
3 to 4 tablespoons oil

1/2 cup raisins
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup water
1/3 teaspoon cinnamon

Place the tagine on a diffuser over medium low heat. Add 3 tablespoons of oil into the tagine, salt the meat and place in the tagine, cook for 5 minutes. Add the onions, garlic, and coriander and salt to taste. Toss the onions around with a wooden spoon until they become translucent, add the spices and cinnamon bark and mix to combine. Move the meat to the center of the tagine, making sure no onions are beneath the meat. slowly pour in 1/2 cup of hot water, evenly around the tagine (never over the meat)and cover until it reaches a simmering point. Lower the heat to low and cook cook for approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the sauce has reduced. Cook the raisins separately in a small heavy duty pan by adding at least 1 tablespoon sugar per 1/2 cup of raisins and enough water to plump up the raisins (I used approximately 1/4 cup for 1/2 cup raisins) and 1/3 teaspoon per 1/2 cup raisins. Top the tagine with the cooked raisins and cover for 15 minutes or while the sauce is thickening. Serve with crusty bread...

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