This easy tagine recipe is a popular family meal in Morocco. Use beef, lamb or goat meat. Carrots or other veggies can be added to the recipe. Use as much preserved lemon as you like – the more lemon, the more tangy the dish. Preserved lemons will also add saltiness, so adjust seasoning accordingly.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 lb. (about 1/2 kg) lamb, beef or goat meat
- 1 1/2 lbs. (700 g) potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of saffron threads, crumbled (optional)
- small handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
- large handful of red or green olives
- 1/2 or 1 whole preserved lemon, quartered
Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method
Pour the olive oil into the base of a tagine; arrange the onion slices across the bottom and distribute the garlic on top. Add the potato slices (you can arrange them neatly if you like) and place the meat on top of the potatoes in the center.
Sprinkle the spices as evenly as possible over the meat and potatoes. Add the parsley bouquet, the olives, the preserved lemon, and about 1 1/2 cups of water.
Cover the tagine and place on a diffuser over medium-low to medium heat and allow the tagine to reach a simmer. This can take some time so be patient. Once a simmer is achieved, reduce the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer, and cook for 3 to 4 hours, or until the meat is very tender and can be broken with the fingers.
Conventional Pot or Pressure Cooker Method
Chop the onion rather than slicing it. Cut the potatoes into wedges rather than slices. Chop the parsley and cilantro.
Mix the meat with onion, garlic, cilantro or parsley, spices and olive oil in a large pot or pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water and cover. If using a conventional pot, simmer the meat for about 1 1/2 hours; if using a pressure cooker, cook the meat with pressure for about 35 minutes, or a little longer if using lamb or goat meat.
Add the potatoes, olives and preserved lemon, adding water if necessary so that the broth almost reaches the top of the potatoes. Partially cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is reduced until thick. Towards the end of the cooking, taste for salt and adjust the seasoning if necessary.