I must be acclimated to the weather in the Middle East. It is 75 degrees, and I am freezing. I literally have goosebumps all the time, and my thin sweaters that I brought with me from the States just aren’t cuttin it. I remember when we first moved here in February, I laughed at all the locals wearing winter coats and scarfs in the 80 degree weather. Well, I am not laughing any more…After surviving over 115 degree heat with 100% humidity for months on end, I guess 75 degrees is cold!
So, with that said, there is nothing like a tagine on a cold winter day. As you may know, my tagine is one of my favorite kitchen items. I have previously posted about using it to make my chicken with preserved lemons and olives. Today, I made another popular Moroccan tagine, using beef with sweet potatoes and prunes. Usually this dish is made with lamb, but I have issues with the game-like taste of lamb, so I usually opt for beef.
My secret to making a good meat tagine is this: one meat, one vegetable, and one dried fruit (you can also add nuts too). You can get really creative (i have even done chicken with potato and apricots). The idea is to use a low-cost meat and combine it with sweet and savory flavors. Root vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, pumpkins, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes, hold up really well and contrast nicely with meat. The tagine will do all the magic in tenderizing your meat, since you cook it low and slow, and the cone does wonders for circulating the moisture back into the dish.
This dish also doesn’t take very long to prep for, but you do need to stick around the house while it simmers for about an hour on the stove. Just pop in a movie, and relax, while your tagine does all the work and your house is filled with the sweet smell of stewing prunes and sweet potatoes. YUM!