Spanish cuisine is sprinkled with the gastronomy of other countries and other cultures, as is the case with traditional North African cuisine. One of these dishes is the tajine, which is nothing more than a clay pot that makes the meat and other foods prepared in a very different way.
How to make meat tajine?
Because of its conical shape, the tajine allows food to cook differently. In addition, as it is an earthenware vessel, the food stays hot for a longer time, which is a great advantage! One of the traditional dishes of Maghrebi gastronomy, which is also prepared in Spain due to its geographical and historical proximity to this area, is the meat tajine.
The beef tajine, prepared with carrots and ras el hanout, is a dish that triumphs everywhere and among the most select diners. Be careful because this delicious recipe we propose today can also be made in an iron pot if you still need a tajine at home. We will tell you how to do it!
- One kilo of veal shank.
- Two purple onions.
- 10 carrots.
- Two spoonfuls of ras el hanout.
- Five tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- 800 milliliters of meat, chicken, or vegetable broth.
- A sprig of fresh parsley.
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Cut the meat into small cubes or cubes of about the same thickness. This will allow the meat to cook evenly at the same time. And before getting down to work, remember to take it out of the refrigerator well in advance so that it is at room temperature when you put it on the stove.
- Peel and julienne the onions.
- Peel and cut the carrots into sticks of about the same thickness.
- Place the earthenware casserole or tajine on the fire and heat the five extra virgin olive oil tablespoons.
- When the oil is hot, it is time to add the meat and pass it through the oil for two minutes so that the outside is browned.
- Remove the meat and add the onions.
- When the onions become transparent, add the ras el hanout, a spice mixture originating from Maghrebi cuisine. Cook the onions for a few more minutes.
- Return the meat to the heat and stir.
- After a couple of minutes, add the beef broth.
- Season with salt and pepper and cover.
- You should leave the meat on the fire for two hours. For cooking, the meat should be covered and over low heat.
- After these two hours, it is time to add the carrots.
- Cook for half an hour more.
- With low heat, it is complicated for the meat to dry out or stick, but it is best to monitor the state of the liquid and add a bit more meat, chicken, or vegetable broth if the liquid level drops. The pot must always have water!
- After these two and a half hours on the fire, remove the meat from the heat and serve it immediately to the guests.
The grace of the tajine is that this earthenware casserole is served directly on the table in the center. To do this, place the tajine on a unique base to avoid accidents. Thanks to the materials of the casserole, the stew stays warm and ready to eat. Before serving, sprinkle some fresh parsley on top.
It is advisable to have smaller earthenware bowls so diners can serve themselves individually and maintain the heat of the stew, which is the most characteristic feature of beef tajine.
What to accompany the meat tajine with?
The beef tajine is a hearty and satiating dish thanks to the meat and carrots, but if you want to prepare a complete recipe or accompany it with a garnish that will surprise your guests, you can serve a bit of white rice on the side.
Although the veal tajine with carrots is the most classic of the Maghrebi gastronomy, you can find many variants. One of the variations of the tajine is to accompany it with raisins and almonds; it is a stew that brings a different touch to the stew; you may also find a recipe with boiled potatoes.
Suppose you want to add potatoes to this recipe, making it even more satiating for your diners. In that case, it is advisable to prepare the potatoes in a separate pot, as the potatoes' cooking time is very different from that of the meat and carrots. Once you have the potatoes cooked, it is enough to cut them into slices of more or less the same thickness and serve them to your guests.