In this wonderful season, there are plenty of fresh vegetables in the market and I have all the reasons to enjoy them, the main one being that the word “fresh” was rarely used when I was still in Qatar. The other reason is that Tagine cooking is a healthy option. So this is a healthy dish.
In Morocco, artichokes, green peas, courgettes or zucchinis, fennel…are quite abundant during this period. They’re also cheap.
I have made this tagine a couple of weeks ago and I can insure you it’s very easy. It’s also quite versatile, you can add fennel or carrots (not both), remove one of the vegetables mentioned in the recipe. You can also change the type of meat, or even discard the meat.
Serves about 6
Prep: 10 min – Cooking time: up to 2 hours over a wooden fire (or BBQ fire)
- 1kg of veal shanks cut into osso bucco style
- A handful of peas
- 6 heads of fresh artichoke, pre-cooked in water and lemon
- About 3 zucchini, cut lengthwise into sections
- About 2 large potatoes, cut into 8 wedges or cubes
- 2 to 3 tbsp of good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 1 spring onion
- 2 heaped tbsps chopped coriander
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper
- A good pinch of saffron threads (optional)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 good tsp ginger powder or 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 chili (optional)
- A handful of green olives
- Rind of ½ preserved lemon
Heat the bottom of the tagine on the wooden fire or use a pressure cooker.
Add the oil and fry the chopped yellow onion (they call them spanish onions as well).
Rub the slices of meat with some spices mentioned and a tablespoon of oil. Sear the meat from two sides, about 10 min. Cover meat with water and then place the cover and the meat cook through, which usually takes about 1 h to 1 h 30 . Check the liquid level at least twices during this time. It’s not indicated to uncover the tagine beyond that (frequently) because the concept of tagine cooking is that the steam coming from the ingredients is what is going to make it cook, if you open frequently, this steam will escape…
Pinch the meat, if it is almost tender, first add the peas (frozen peas work too, but will take less time to cook), line up the other vegetables: potatoes, zucchini, get to the heads of artichokes. It is best to add salt, pepper and herbs between each layer of vegetables. Mix the remaining spices (turmeric, ginger and saffron) with a few tablespoons of hot water and spread over the vegetables. I also add chopped spring onion (including the green part) between the layers.
Cover and finish cooking vegetables. This step takes about 30 minutes in a tagine cooked the traditional way.
5 to 10 minutes before serving, add green olives and preserved lemon cut in length so they infuse in the tagine.Serve hot with a good piece of bread.
Oh by the way, a cat came by, invaded my little garden and he/she was also enjoying the nice weather..Didn’t feel like disturbing the poor thing..