Tagines

This modern adaptation of the traditional Moroccan cooking pot is used for cooking a meal of the same name. The base is shallow and the lid is conical, allowing the steam to circulate and keep the food moist.

Caring for your tagine:

Never subject it to extreme temperature changes or the pot may crack. Place the tagine in a warm oven and allow to heat slowly to 140`C –180`C. Don’t add cold liquid to a hot pot, or hot liquid to a cold pot. Tagines should not be used on the stove, on coals or in the microwave oven. Never place a hot tagine on a cold surface. Preheat the tagine in hot water while preparing the filling.

Allow your tagine to cool before washing in warm soapy water with a sponge. Don’t use steel wool or a scouring powder. Once dry, store your pot in a well-ventilated area, as earthenware clay remains porous after firing.

After a while, earthenware glaze may develop a crazed surface. This is natural and does not affect the performance of the dish. With careful use clay cooking pots last for years.

Aromatic spices, vegetables and fruit can be added to meat, which is slow cooked in the oven, with little or no added liquid. Meat may be browned in a pan before being placed in the tagine or it can simply be tossed in a blend of spices before being added to the vegetables. Adding salt to meat before cooking draws the juices out, resulting in tougher meat. Accompany the tagine with couscous, rice or a potato dish, and sauces, dukkah or salt blends according to taste. Tagines are a simple, no fuss style of cooking. Experiment and have fun. Two favourite recipes follow. Quantities, times and temperatures may vary. Both recipes are for 4-6 people. Oven temperature 140ºC-180ºC.

Tagine Recipes

Spice blend: In a mortar and pestle, blend one teaspoon each ground ginger, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon and chilli to taste. Toss with meat or vegetables before cooking.

Chicken with honey, lemon and raisins

Line the base with washed lemon leaves. Mix 1 cup each of coarsely sliced carrots, celery and onion and place in the bottom of the tagine. Add 1 cup cooked chickpeas. Place 1kg chicken drumsticks in the lid, sprinkle with spice blend, toss and arrange on the vegetables in a ring, with the thin part inwards. Pour over a few tablespoons lemon juice and a few tablespoons honey. Sprinkle ½ cup raisins over. Cover and cook in a slow oven for 2-3 hours. Add ½ cup coarsely chopped coriander and serve with couscous or rice.

Tagine of lamb knuckle with tomato

Mix 1 cup each sliced carrots, celery and onion and place in the bottom of the tagine. Take 1kg sliced lamb knuckles, rinse, pat dry and toss in the tagine lid with your spice blend. Arrange on the vegetables. Take ½ tin chopped tomatoes or 1 cup home-made tomato puree, spoon over the lamb. Push 4-6 whole chillies in-between the lamb. Cover with lid, and cook in a slow oven for 2-3 hours. Place the lid at a slight angle to allow steam to escape if necessary. Add 2 red peppers, coarsely sliced, ½ cup stoned black olives and 1 tablespoon fresh thyme half an hour before end of cooking. Serve with couscous or rice.

Handmade by: Anne Rimbault Pottery Studio
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