Tagine cooking using a cooking utensil like pictured here, is a very Mediterrean or a North African style of cooking. Low heat and long time. More information on tagines and tagine can be found on this blog by Clicking Here. According to Wikipedia,
A tajine or tagine (Arabic: طاجين tajin from the Arabic: طاج) is a historically North African dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked. A similar dish known as tavvas is found in Cypriot cuisine. The traditional method of cooking with a tajine is to place it over coals. Use of the tajine can be compared to stewing … The traditional tajine pot is made of pottery, which is sometimes painted or glazed. It consists of two parts: a base unit that is flat and circular with low sides and a large cone- or dome-shaped cover that sits on the base during cooking. The cover is designed to promote the return of all condensation to the bottom. Tajines can also be cooked in a conventional oven or on a stove top.
Tajine is traditionally cooked over hot charcoal leaving an adequate space between the coals and the tajine pot to avoid having the temperature rise too fast. Large bricks of charcoal are purchased specifically for their ability to stay hot for hours. Smaller pieces of charcoal are reserved for cooking brochettes (barbecue) and other grilled meats.
Other methods are to use a tajine in a slow oven or on a gas or electric stove top, on lowest heat necessary to keep the stew simmering gently. A diffuser – a circular piece of aluminium placed between the tajine and burner – is used to evenly distribute the stove’s heat. European manufacturers have created tajines with heavy cast-iron bottoms that can be heated on a cooking stove to a high temperature. This permits the browning of meat and vegetables before cooking. Tajine cooking may be replicated by using a slow cooker or similar item; but the result will be slightly different. Many ceramic tajines are decorative items as well as functional cooking vessels. Some tajines, however, are intended only to be used as decorative serving dishes … Moroccan tajine dishes are slow-cooked savory stews, typically made with sliced meat, poultry or fish together with vegetables or fruit. Spices, nuts, and dried fruits are also used. Common spices include ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and saffron. Paprika and chili are used in vegetable tajine. The sweet and sour combination is common in tajine dishes like lamb with dates and spices. Tajines are generally served with bread. Because the domed or cone-shaped lid of the tajine pot traps steam and returns the condensed liquid to the pot, a minimal amount of water is needed to cook meats and vegetables. This method of cooking is practical in areas where water supplies are limited or where public water is not yet available.
Here is the process of making our Lamb Shank Tagine. Enjoy!
The lamb shanks are seared in olive oil and Mediterranean spices in a large cast iron pot over medium heat. The Mediterrean spices can be found in most grocery stores or in speciality stores. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.
Remove the shanks from the cast iron pot and put aside. Do not remove the lamb liquid. Lower the heat so vegetables do not burn or scorch. Add one thinly sliced onion, diced garlic and chopped garlic scapes and cook in the olive oil in the cast iron pot until tender. More Mediterrean spice and sea salt and fresh pepper can be added.
Chickpeas, drained, and chopped dried apricots are added and mixed. Add about 4 Bay Leaves.
Chopped tomato is added to the pot. Let cook until warmed through. Taste and adjust spices and seasonings as necessary.
Add the vegetable mixture to the tagine. Place the lamb shanks into the vegetables. After 1 hour, it should look like this.
After 2 hours, the shanks should look like this.
3 hours and the shanks are looking good. The lamb should be tender and tend to pull easily from the bone..
Tagine Lamb Shank
2012 Koenig Vineyards Devil’s Bedstead Zinfandel
(an Idaho wine!!!)