Moroccan Berber Tagine With Lamb or Beef and Vegetables
This is an authentic Berber tagine recipe with beef or lamb, and vegetables, seasoned with Moroccan spices, preserved lemon, and olives.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1pound beef (or lamb, cut into 2" to 3" pieces)
- ¼to 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1medium onion (sliced)
- 1medium onion (finely chopped)
- 3to 4 cloves garlic (finely chopped or pressed)
- 3to 4 small potatoes (or medium, quartered lengthwise)
- 3to 4 medium carrots (halved or quartered lengthwise)
- Optional: 4 small zucchini (whole; or may use other veggies)
- 1small bell pepper (any color, cut into strips or rings)
- 1small handful parsley (and/or cilantro, tied into a bouquet)
- Optional: 1 small jalapeno or chili pepper
- 1small preserved lemon (quartered)
- 1handful olives (green or red/violet)
- For the Seasoning:
- 1teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- 1teaspoon ginger
- ½teaspoon black pepper
- ½teaspoon turmeric
- ½teaspoon paprika
- ½teaspoon cumin
- Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Optional: 1 pinch saffron threads
Step 1Pour the olive oil into the base of a tagine.
Step 2Arrange the onion rings across the bottom and scatter the chopped onion and garlic on top.
Step 3Arrange the meat, bone-side down, in a mound in the center of the tagine. (The taller the mound, the more conical your arrangement of vegetables will be.)
Step 4Combine the spices in a small bowl.
Step 5Sprinkle a little less than half of the seasoning over the meat and onions.
Step 6Place the prepped vegetables in a large bowl.
Step 7Add the remaining seasoning and toss to coat the vegetables evenly.
Step 8Arrange the vegetables in a conical shape around the meat.
Step 9Arrange the bell pepper strips in the center and top with the parsley bouquet and then the jalapeño pepper, Garnish the tagine with the preserved lemon quarters and olives.
Step 10Add 2 1/2 cups water to the empty bowl and swirl to rinse the residual spices.
Step 11Add the water to the tagine, cover, and place the tagine over medium coals in a brazier, or stovetop over medium-low heat. Note that use of a diffuser under the tagine is necessary if using clay or ceramic on an electric stove and recommended for other heat sources as well.
Step 12Leave the tagine to reach a simmer. This may take a long time, 20 minutes or so; be cautious in feeling the need to increase the heat.
Step 13Once simmering, continue cooking the tagine over medium-low heat until the meat and vegetables are very tender and the sauce is reduced, up to 3 hours for beef and up to 4 hours for lamb.
Step 14While the tagine is cooking, you may check the level of the liquids occasionally and add a little water as necessary, but otherwise, try not to disturb the tagine.
Step 15Do stay alert for the smell of anything burning, and lower the heat if necessary to avoid scorching ingredients and/or cracking the tagine. It is normal, however, for some of the base onions to burn and adhere to the bottom of the tagine as they caramelize and reduce.
Step 16Remove the cooked tagine from the heat and serve. It will stay warm while covered for 30 minutes.