Sunday 5 September 2010

Hurray I've Got A Tagine!

Success. I've cooked with my new tagine for the first time and 'A' said the food was excellent. I can't think why I haven't had one before. I always thought they looked quite cute, a bit like an oriental hat perched on top of the stove, but I had no idea how useful they are, and how good they make the food taste. Or how quickly it cooks in one, and for once I only had one pot to wash after supper!

It came with a little recipe booklet, and I had a bit of a google too. I found a Waitrose recipe for lamb tagine. Their recipes always seem to be really well, tried and tested, and turn out as they should, also a Rick Stein video of an authentic Moroccan chef cooking.

Apparently the word tagine can mean either the dish, or the food in it. I didn't have quite all the ingredients for either recipe but the book did say to experiment and make up your own. So I did. It was kind of a mixture between the two.First of all I had to season the tagine because it was new, by covering the bottom dish with milk, heating it slowly then leaving to cool down before washing it. Once I'd done that I fried slice onion, then garlic, and browned a lamb shank. I added ground cumin, coriander and cinnamon and quite a lot of Harissa as he likes hot food. Then I added cubed potatoes and sliced carrots a tin of chopped tomatoes. A little saffron and some water. Seasoned with salt and pepper and left it to cook for about an hour til the meet was dropping off the bone.

I don't eat red meat but I pinched a bit of the sauce it was truly delicious. Earthy and spicy but not overpowering.

Interesting tip on the Rick Stein video about putting a little cold water into the top of the pot to help the steam to evaporate and return into the sauce. I must remember next time. It was so easy to produce a really tasty meal that I'll be using a lot. For some reason I always think food tastes better when cooked in something ceramic. I'll be trying out chicken, fish and vegetables soon. I can't wait.

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