This warming dish is eaten during the winter in Morocco, where, especially in the mountains, the weather can be surprisingly cold. Tagines, by definition, are cooked on the hob (or, more often in Morocco, over coals). However, this works well cooked in the oven.
675-900g/1½-2lb braising or stewing beef
30ml/2tbsp sunflower oil
good pinch of ground turmeric
1 large onion, chopped
1 red or green chilli, seeded and chopped
good pinch of cayenne pepper
2.5ml/½tsp ground cumin
450g/1lb sweet potatoes
15ml/1tbsp chopped fresh parsley
15ml/1tbsp chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim the meat and cut into 2cm/¾in cubes. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole and fry the meat, together with the turmeric and seasoning, over a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until evenly brown, stirring frequently.
2. Cover the pan tightly and cook for 15 minutes over a fairly gentle heat, without lifting the lid. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
3. Add the onion, chilli, paprika, cayenne pepper and cumin to the pan together with just enough water to cover the meat. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 1-1½ hours until the meat is very tender, chicken occasionally and adding a little extra water to keep the stew fairly moist.
4. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and slice them straight into a bowl of salted water (sweet potatoes discolour very quickly). Transfer to a pan, bring to the boil and then simmer for 2-3 minutes until just tender. Drain.
5. Stir the herbs into the meat, adding a little extra water if the stew appears dry. Arrange the potato slices over the meat and dot with the butter. Cover and cook in the oven for a further 10 minutes or until the potatoes feel very tender. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 or heat the grill.
6. Remove the lid of the casserole and cook in the oven or under the grill for a further 5-10 minutes until the potatoes are golden.
Moroccan Cooking: Fragrantly Spices North African Cuisine by Rebekah Hassan
Submitted by samuel
on 18th Oct 2009 19:00