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Moroccan Tagine Cooking


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OK, Lamb was put in the tagine at 4:00 pm, it took 1.5 hours to the probe to reach 75.C. At this point I mixed the meat about, the probe meat which had been at the bottom dropped to 68.C when placed on the top. By 6:00 pm the meat had reading was 78.C. This is on the lowest gas setting. Just tested the meat, I think it will require another half an hour our so. It seems that from a cold start a tagine is very gentle, but once up to temperature it delivers quite a bit of heat on a very low setting.

Paula - the blender did a good job of the spices, I have pounded them a bit to get rid of the fluffy quality. I mostly order seperate spices, but I will give SP a go, as sometimes I haven't got time to blend 20 spices.

It is well worth trying some of the recipes, especially since some of cooking styles don't really exist in Muslim cooking now. But it is a bit of a crap shoot.

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I just posted my preparation of Molly Stevens' "Beef Rendang" made with pork here. It shows a technique that I use when dealing with fibrous roots. I also do that thin cross cut when using the mortar and pestle.

Also, in that recipe, I used a technique I learned on this thread, the secondary broiling. It worked great. This recipe technique also reminded me a lot of the dish that Smithy prepared here. I guess I always thought that tagine cooking meant that the "hat" was on. This was done all open. Do I have the wrong paradigm about tagine cooking?

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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The main thing I notice with my tagine is that I never add liquid. The liquid that comes out of the meat is more then enough.

OK added the vinegar/sugar syrup. Taste tested. Is very good. Meat tender, liquid reabsorbed and very dark. Interestingly, because of the vinegar this dish tastes more European (eh, medieval that is) than typical extant Muslim. Definately a keeper.

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A Moroccan tagine can be best described as a portable oven: the bottom filled with meat, poultry, and or vegetables, and covered with a rounded or conical top. The tagine sits about 5 inches over a bed of coals and through the simple technique of long, slow, steady cooking in this closed hot and cool atmosphere, a silken- textured meat or poultry dish is obtained along with a highly seasoned sauce. That's it for the original Moroccan tagine.

With the home oven, variations have sprouted up everywhere, even in my kitchen when convenient. Cooks often place the bottom part of a tagine in the oven with a sheet of parchment paper and a flat lid and bake the tagine. It doesn't come out as well but neither does the ' pressure cooker tagine.'

The pressure cooker is a substitute for the tagine and used by working women during the week. On the weekends, they switch back to the original clay tagine because the whole family complains. Or at least that is what I have been told by many friends!!

There is a version of the crockpot in France made by Tefal. I guess I've never met a tagine that I didn't want! Here is mine! It looks like a tagine with a nice wide and roomy shallow bottom and it has a tall conical top. It's completely glazed. I will post a picture in a few minutes.

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Edited by Wolfert (log)

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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More of last nights tagine cooking.

This is the appearance of the lamb after over night contact with the spices and grated onion. The is no liquid added, the tagine is then very gently heated, the meat being moved about until it becomes fragrant.

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After 40 minutes the lamb is still pink, but has released a great deal of liquid.

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After two hours the meat is nearly done, most of the liquid has been reabsorbed. At this point the meat is pink on the inside, that sauce is a medium brown.

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At this point the vinegar and sugar are added, this ressults in a colour change, resulting in a dark brown sauce. The meat is well done, but still pink (due to the slow initial warm up), the fruit has completely disolved

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While this is resting, I prepared Paula's seafood bisteeya. The only changes I have made are to use turnip greens, rather then spinach, and to mix shredded carrots braised in butter and cumin.

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Not very neat presentation and shoddy couscous, but the cook had been drinking for a while at this stage.

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For dessert, "The Snake". This was pre-the final presentation, it was very popular.

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Both the Bisteeya and the tagine were very well recieved. I was concerned about the tagine as it was very sweet and the spices are quite full on. But six people ate two kilos of meat, most had never eaten a Moroccan dish before, let alone a recipe that hasn't been made for a few hundred years.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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You are amazing.

How did the seafood bisteeya come out?

With inventive Moroccan recipes hopscotching all over place, I think this is one of the few "new" dishes that works brilliantly.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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The bisteeya was excellent and my wife loves it. I think that some of the issues with New Style or Moroccan inspired dishes is that I think that people in the English speaking world have not really mastered all the traditional recipes and cooking techniques yet. No sure how far you can go forward without having a good grasp of the past. I would love to see, just once, lamb cooked with cardoons, rather then yet another bland chicken with apricot dish.

I was thinking about the ginger thing. I don't have an issue with fresh v dried, except they taste quite different, the dried being more 'warming', rather then a bright flavour like the fresh stuff.

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Adam, those are wonderful photos. I have some questions for you now:

I just looked on Amazon and couldn't find a cookbook by Charles Perry (et al.) or one named Medieval Arabic Cooking (or even Mediavel Arabic Cooking, as you spelled it). Is it a rare book?

I'm a bit confused about the discussion immediately above concerning modern recipes without a solid grounding. I thought these were older recipes? I know you're just guessing at quantities, but what else might I be missing with the old vs. new discussion? Elaborate on that, please.

It is Really Not Nice to show a photo with a temperature probe, as your lamb did, and then not tell us the numbers. What temperature did you reach, and what did you hold it at?

Finally, I want to thank you for the education. Until your post, I thought Jujubes were an American candy.

Nancy

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Finally, I want to thank you for the education.  Until your post, I thought Jujubes were an American candy.

For your information, you can get dried jujubes at any Chinatown, where they are known as red dates (hong zhu). In San Francisco, I've gotten fresh jujubes at the farmers market. They taste strange, having no taste at all for a few seconds, then somehow a nice sweet tangy flavor emerges.

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Smithy, if I remember it correctly, it's currently not in print. There's a french co-author on it besides Perry....and it's like a 500 page book. I remember seeing a used copy at the strand a year ago, but I didn't know enough to snatch it at the time.

Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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I just looked on Amazon and couldn't find a cookbook by Charles Perry (et al.) or one named Medieval Arabic Cooking (or even Mediavel Arabic Cooking, as you spelled it).  Is it a rare book?

The book is rather rare. I bought mine from Charles himself and even then there was a several-month delay as they were being printed in England and even then, in very limited numbers. It may be out of print at this point.

BTW, Perry was acting as translator of this 13th century cookbook, known as the Kitab al Tibakhah.

Edited by Carolyn Tillie (log)
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Nancy - the book is called "Medieval Arab Cookery, essays and translations by Maximime Rodinson, A.J. Arberry and Charles Perry", published by Prospect books in 1998. I paraphrased the title a bit originally. You can order it from the publisher.

Only the lamb recipe is from this book, the other two are from Paula's books. Regarding the above rant of mine. The lamb dish is an indulgence. I make these extinct dishes it for myself and some friends, if the don't work, well that is OK*. The original recipe is pretty exact on weights and amounts of ingredients. I cut back on the fruit slightly, as I thought it might be a bit too sweet for some of my guests.

When I spoke of old new, I actually ment extant cooking v some of the new stuff that gets marketed as 'Moroccan'. Not that I have any trouble with new ideas and techniques, that is the nature of cooking. What I don't like is bad food and sometimes a new idea based on a established cuisine or cooking technique just doesn't work or is bad. Moroccan cooking sometimes sufferes from this as it commonly seen as 'that cooking with fruit'. It isn't easy creating new recipes and really good natural cooks are rare. I'm not one and I wonder how many people are.

Hey, I posted this yesterday!

"OK, Lamb was put in the tagine at 4:00 pm, it took 1.5 hours to the probe to reach 75.C. At this point I mixed the meat about, the probe meat which had been at the bottom dropped to 68.C when placed on the top. By 6:00 pm the meat had reading was 78.C. This is on the lowest gas setting. Just tested the meat, I think it will require another half an hour our so. It seems that from a cold start a tagine is very gentle, but once up to temperature it delivers quite a bit of heat on a very low setting". :smile:

The meat got up to 82.C in the end, a little too hot maybe. I took it off the heat for 40 minutes and with the lid on the temp dropped to 72.C.

* I always learn, even if the dish is dodgy. This time around I learnt a lot about jujubes and that nigella seeds, which are sold as onion seeds when ever I see them, are not onion seeds, not related to onions, but are the seeds of a plant that is closely related to flower 'Love in the Mist'.

Edited by Adam Balic (log)
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Hey, I posted this yesterday!

"OK, Lamb was put in the tagine at 4:00 pm, it took 1.5 hours to the probe to reach 75.C. At this point I mixed the meat about, the probe meat which had been at the bottom dropped to 68.C when placed on the top. By 6:00 pm the meat had reading was 78.C. This is on the lowest gas setting. Just tested the meat, I think it will require another half an hour our so. It seems that from a cold start a tagine is very gentle, but once up to temperature it delivers quite a bit of heat on a very low setting". :smile:

The meat got up to 82.C in the end, a little too hot maybe. I took it off the heat for 40 minutes and with the lid on the temp dropped to 72.C.

Gaah. So you did! I even read it yesterday! :blush:

Thanks for the extra information. Very useful.

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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One last thing. I have mentioned it before and so have other people, but I would like to say how much I appreciate Paula's knowledge and ability to communicate it, both here and especially her books. It is fun to recreate historical recipes, bring tagines back from Morocco to play about with temperature probes, but none of this would have occured for me if I hadn't found a copy of her Moroccan cookbook some years ago. The book is brilliant, the amount of information in it is staggering and the recipes always turn out.

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Adam,

Wow!

Thank you so much. You put a really big smile on my face this morning! :smile:

Are you working with the English edition? If so, i'm especially happy to read that everything works. I always worried about the metric conversions.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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One last thing. I have mentioned it before and so have other people, but I would like to say how much I appreciate Paula's knowledge and ability to communicate it, both here and especially her books. It is fun to recreate historical recipes, bring tagines back from Morocco to play about with temperature probes, but none of this would have occured for me if I hadn't found a copy of her Moroccan cookbook some years ago. The book is brilliant, the amount of information in it is staggering and the recipes always turn out.

I will add my second to this! I have (I think) all of Paula's cookbooks, and in fact, doubles on a couple that have been used so much they are spotted and dog-eared. Some of the pages are stuck together from having stuff spilled on them and not cleaned adequately prior to being put away.

(As a side note, if you do spill something on a book, sprinkle it with corn starch and let it sit for a while. The corn starch will actually pull the moisture out of the paper. - I learned this years ago when taking a course on preserving works on paper at the Huntington library - to see if it is dry, simply dump the corn starch off onto a paper plate or paper towel, if the page is still damp sprinkle on an even layer.

I have even put them on the shelf this way, just to make sure the pages wouldn't adhere to each other.)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thank you for that cornstarch tip. I wish I had known that years ago !

Also, thanks for hurrahs for my work.

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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I just looked on Amazon and couldn't find a cookbook by Charles Perry (et al.) or one named Medieval Arabic Cooking (or even Mediavel Arabic Cooking, as you spelled it).  Is it a rare book?

The book is rather rare. I bought mine from Charles himself and even then there was a several-month delay as they were being printed in England and even then, in very limited numbers. It may be out of print at this point.

BTW, Perry was acting as translator of this 13th century cookbook, known as the Kitab al Tibakhah.

Here's a used copy: http://used.addall.com/SuperRare/submitRar...on&StoreZVAB=on

And here's a new copy of Medieval Arab Cookery from Amazon-UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/0...3163562-6907062

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You should be able to order Medieval Arab Cookery by Maxine Rodinson directly from David Brown Book Co., the American distributor of Prospect Books (the publisher). They are selling it in hardcover for 60 dollars.

And do check out the other food-related offerings at David Brown Book Co. Many books I have never seen before on interesting subjects.

--

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One last thing. I have mentioned it before and so have other people, but I would like to say how much I appreciate Paula's knowledge and ability to communicate it, both here and especially her books. It is fun to recreate historical recipes, bring tagines back from Morocco to play about with temperature probes, but none of this would have occured for me if I hadn't found a copy of her Moroccan cookbook some years ago. The book is brilliant, the amount of information in it is staggering and the recipes always turn out.

I will add my second to this! I have (I think) all of Paula's cookbooks, and in fact, doubles on a couple that have been used so much they are spotted and dog-eared. Some of the pages are stuck together from having stuff spilled on them and not cleaned adequately prior to being put away.

I think I will soon be "thirding" this praise! My books of Paula's came yesterday from Amazon and today I am doing a mini cookathon of a carrot salad, the Moroccan bread and a lamb and cauliflower tagine. It's all in process now and the kitchen smells fab!

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Thank you all for the links and extra information. My husband is wondering just what I do with all these cookbooks. Then we sit down and eat dinner, or he comes home in the middle of a cooking project, and he knows.

At the risk of sounding like a parrot, I'd like to add my thanks and admiration for Paula and her work. I feel incredibly lucky that she's active on this forum that I stumbled into, and the cookbooks are wonderful!

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

Follow us on social media! Facebook; instagram.com/egulletx; twitter.com/egullet

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)
"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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Thank you so much for all your kind words.

Now, let's get back and cook!

“C’est dans les vieux pots, qu’on fait la bonne soupe!”, or ‘it is in old pots that good soup is made’.

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. . . with one of my two tagines (number three is on the way!)?

Pssst . . . I think we need a meeting.

Alas, I am not cooking in mine yet. I am still curing. I am still thinking of an inaugural dish. Lamb is sorely lacking here so I will probably do something with chicken. I am still noodling through Paula's book.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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