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Moroccan Tagine of Meat, Quinces (Safarjal) and Honey

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)



Moroccan Tagine with Quinces and Honey

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This easy tagine recipe is an absolutely delicious way to enjoy quinces, called safarjal in Arabic. Like other Moroccan fruit tagines, Tagine of Meat and Quinces features a savory combo of spicy and sweet.

Other versions of quince tagine might use a smaller ratio of quinces to meat, but I prefer lots of fruit in this particular dish. Use beef, lamb or goat.

I also like a little Ras El Hanout in the seasoning. If you omit this, try adding a tiny pinch of nutmeg and one or two cloves.

Cooking time is for a pressure cooker. Allow more time if preparing the stew in a pot.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes


  • 1 kg (about 2 lbs.) beef or lamb, cut into 2" or 3" pieces
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 or 2 small pieces (2 to 3") of cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ras El Hanout
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (coriander), tied into a bouquet
  • ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 1 1/2 kg (3 lbs.) quinces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons cooking liquid from the quinces
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of broth from the meat
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt (optional)


Cook the Meat

Set the saffron and cilantro aside.

Add the meat, onions, garlic, remaining spices, oil and butter to a pressure cooker or heavy-bottomed pot. Stir to mix well, and brown the meat over medium-high heat.

Add the saffron, cilantro and 3 cups of water. Cover, and cook with pressure for about 45 minutes, or simmer without pressure for an hour and a half, or until the meat is very tender.

Reserve 3 to 4 tablespoons of the broth, and reduce the remaining liquids until the sauce is thick and mostly oils.

Cook the Quinces

While the meat is cooking, prepare the quinces. Peel them, cut them into quarters or eighths, then core them. Put the finished sections of quince into a bowl of water as you work to avoid their turning brown.

When ready, drain the quinces and transfer them to a skillet or pot. Cover with fresh water, add a teaspoon of sugar, and bring to a boil. Simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the quinces are tender but still firm enough to hold their shape.

Drain the quinces, reserving several tablespoons of the poaching liquid. Add the reserved broth, butter, cinnamon, sugar, honey and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until a thick syrup forms. Occasionally stir or turn the quinces to coat them with the syrup on all sides. (Note that using a skillet will allow the quinces to evenly glaze in the syrup without breaking during stirring.)

To Serve

Place the meat and sauce on a serving platter. Arrange the quinces all around, spooning the syrup over the meat and fruit.

Serve tagines with Moroccan bread (or another crusty bread) for scooping everything up.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
It worked out after all..., Member Amanda_in_Rabat

This was a really great tasting recipe. I had a little mishap cooking the meat because of using a new stove and getting used to the heating levels, but in the end it all worked out. The quince and syrup are amazing and it works really well with the meat. I never had quinces before this, but I love them now. My husband loved every bite too. The only things I did differently from the recipe is replace the ras al hanout with syrian allspice because i didn't have the ras al hanout. And, mistakenly I only put 2 tablespoons of honey in the quince syrup but it seemed to turn out well anyway. I'm definitely making this again and again and hopefully without mishap next time. Thanks for your help on Twitter with that! I did take a picture and I'll try to upload it later.

5 out of 5 people found this helpful.

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