Do you love Moroccan cuisine? You definitely need to invest in a tagine! It’s one of my favorite kitchen accessories and I find myself using for one recipe after another. Keep reading to learn more about it and for a tasty dish to try!
All About the Tagine
A tagine is basically a small Dutch oven with a conical top (see it in the background in the photo to the right). Ours is from Le Creuset outlet store in Gilroy, CA, but there are many retail locations across the country that carry them in various brands, colors and prices. Because the one I selected was half the price as those in high-end cooking stores and my daughter is starting to cook more, we ended up getting two: one for me in black and one for her in bright orange that fades into red.
For those of you that don’t know, Le Creuset is a French cookware manufacturer known for colorful cast-iron cookware “French ovens” (also known as “casseroles” or “Dutch ovens”). The company also makes many other types of cookware, from sauce pans to tagines.
Cooking Moroccan Cuisine with a Tagine
Below is a recipe for Moroccan Stew that’s actually made in a tagine and then baked inside phyllo pastry. I tried the stew two ways: first with chicken, as directed in the cookbook I purchased on Moroccan cuisine, and then with boneless lamb stew meat. If you like lamb you’ll love my version of this stew. See the original recipe for Chicken Bastila from Fine Cooking here. Keep reading for the ingredients for the lamb version.
This stew, whether made with chicken or lamb, is very sweet. It’s a bit shocking the first time you try it. We had it for dinner first, but it would be great for a brunch paired with a fresh salad. The second time I made the recipe I cut out part of the sugar in the main stew recipe and used 1/4 cup instead of 1/2 cup. This was just my personal preference. I did not alter the amount of sugar mixed with the ground nuts. I also chose not to add the powdered sugar on top for the chicken stew, but I thought it needed it when made with lamb. I found that the lamb stew is much richer in flavor (probably because of the higher fat content in the meat itself). For best results, I’d advise making the stew at least a few hours in advance or a day ahead (if you have the time) and refrigerating it until ready to fill your pastry. This will let the flavors develop more fully and your pastry will be less likely to get soggy.
I found you can make a 6-inch pastry to serve four or make a 12-inch pie to serve eight. I tried it both ways. For a large meal I would keep it big, but if you just have two or four people I would make two small pastries. The pastry freezes extremely well and is something you can definitely make ahead of time; just keep it in your freezer and when you are ready, bake it fresh and serve hot.
Moroccan Stew with Lamb Ingredients
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless lamb stew meat, in place of the chicken
- 1 Tablespoon prepared curry powder for additional spice
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- All other ingredients remain the same as the recipe link from Fine Cooking above
Do you like Moroccan cuisine? What’s your favorite dish? Whether you make Moroccan Stew or not, a tagine is definitely worth the investment!
Mary Hathaway, Owner of Dinner Diva, has been a personal chef since 2002. She cooks regularly for clients who have special dietary needs, value healthy cooking by using organic products where possible and those who want healthy family meals but have no time to cook. Whether it’s a dinner for 4, a holiday party for 20, or a set of meals for the week, all of the recipes are customized to her client’s needs or lifestyle. Go to: Dinner-Diva.com for more info.