Maybe you have heard of Tagine ( tajine ) or maybe you have just bought this cone-shaped ceramic vessel and are still wondering what to do with it! Truth be told, you are in the right place to discover some mouth-watering recipes and a detailed how-to guide to cooking amazing dishes. Tagine is a traditional cookware ideal for rich, slow-cooked stews of meat, poultry, or fish. If you are into a nurishing meal full of colors and flavors then fasten your seat belts and get ready for an authentic culinary tour!
What Is a Tagine?
A tagine, or “tajine,” is a traditional Moroccan cooking pot made of ceramic or unglazed clay with a round base and low sides. Its cover is cone-shaped which makes this cooking pot distinguishable. The conical lid traps steam during cooking and returns the liquid to the clay pot, this results in a moist dish with concentrated flavors, great smell oh and lots of sauce!
The earthy pot is closely associated with Moroccan cuisine, where slow-cooked savory stews made with meat, poultry, or fish, are cooked with vegetables, grains, couscous and aromatic spices, dried fruit, and nuts. However, you can also choose cook pretty much and stew in the clay pot!
How to Use a Tagine
Preparing the tagine for use
To begin with, if you have just bought your tagine then some preparation is needed to strengthen and seal it especially if your tagine is unglazed you need to prebake it to remove the taste of raw clay.
Next, Soak the lid and base in water for 2 hours. Dry the tagine and brush the interior and exterior of the lid and brush it with olive oil. Place the pot in a cold oven and set the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Finally, Bake for two hours, then turn off the oven and let the tagine completely cool inside.
Add vegetables and olive oil
The first layer must be vegetables. Place them on the base of the pot, creating a cushion for the remaining ingredients. Chopped onions, celery, or carrots will add extra flavor and will keep the meat from sticking to the bottom. Add chopped or whole garlic cloves for extra flavor. Make sure to add Extra Virgin olive oil so that the dish comes with a rich sauce when ready.
Add meat, poultry, or fish.
In the center, add meat, poultry, or fish according to your recipe and preference. Next, arrange them in a mound in the center this will help the meat release the juices and there will be enough room so that you can add more vegetables around the meat. Colorful bell peppers will do wonders here.
Season with spices.
Sprinkle spices generously over the meat and vegetables to make a rich, flavorful sauce. Cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground coriander, cumin, paprika, mace, nutmeg, peppercorn, ground ginger, and ground turmeric work perfectly well with tagine and with Moroccan dishes!
Add enough water or broth to keep food moist while cooking. Pour water or chicken stock carefully into the side of the tagine. Adjust the amount as needed according to the recipe and your preferences.
Cook the tagine.
Finally, when ready place over low to medium-low heat until it reaches a slow simmer. The cooking time for recipes can vary with fish and chicken being shorter, and beef and lamb taking longer.
3 Recipes for Your Moroccan Tagine
As always we encourage you to experiment with all the recipes and tools. However, if you are looking for some inspiration here are three Moroccan dishes you can cook today in your tagine.
Moroccan lamb tagine. Tender seasoned lamb stew meat with chickpeas, dates, oranges, and almonds a classic sweet and savory Moroccan dish. Serve over couscous to soak up its delicious sauce.
Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons and olives. A fragrant chicken stew with chicken breasts cooked with preserved lemons, sauteed onions, and savory green olives. Finish with sprigs of fresh cilantro and serve with rice for a mouth-watering lunch.
Spicy couscous with sausage ragout. Use whole Martino Couscous, some spicy sausages, and a glass of red wine for a decadent Moroccan experience. After that, go the extra mile grab some fresh eggs, and transform this recipe in a Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs in no time!