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Tagine Makfoul Recipe - Moroccan Tagine with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes

User Rating 4 Star Rating (4 Reviews)

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Moroccan Tagine Makfoul with Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes

Photo © Christine Benlafquih

This classic Moroccan dish features beef, lamb or goat meat stewed in savory spices and then topped with makfoul, a caramelized onion and tomato mixture. It can be prepared in a conventional pot, pressure cooker or traditional tagine.

The recipe calls for the Moroccan spice blend Ras El Hanout. If necessary, you can substitute a few whole cloves and a pinch of nutmeg for the Ras El Hanout.

For best results, select a sweet variety of yellow or white onions. Cooking time below is for a pressure cooker. Allow double this time if cooking in a pot and triple the time if cooking in a traditional tagine.

Serves 4 to 6.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 kg (2 lb. 3 oz.) beef, lamb or goat meat, cut into 2" or 3" pieces
  • 2 large onions (about 500 g or 1 lb.), chopped
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Ras El Hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 or 2 small pieces (2 to 3") of cinnamon stick
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • ----- For the Makfoul -----
  • 2 large onions (about 500 g or 1 lb.), thinly sliced
  • 4 medium tomatoes (about 500 g or 1 lb.), thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons honey or granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

Prepare the meat according to one of the methods below. While the meat is cooking, make the caramelized onions and tomatoes (makfoul). In a large skillet with a lid, mix the sliced onions with the cinnamon and sugar or honey. Add the butter and sliced tomatoes, and cover. Cook over medium heat for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the liquids evaporate and the onions are nicely colored. You can continue cooking the onion and tomato mixture until quite dark if you prefer.

Pressure Cooker Method

Mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, herbs and oil in a pressure cooker. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water, cover, and bring to pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat, and cook with pressure for 45 minutes, or until the meat is very tender. Reduce the sauce until it's thick and mostly oils. To serve, arrange the meat and sauce on a serving platter, and top with the caramelized onions and tomatoes.

Conventional Pot Method

Mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, herbs and oil in heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven. Brown the meat, uncovered, over medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 3 cups of water, cover, and bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat, and simmer for about 1 1/2 hours or until the meat is very tender. Add water during cooking if necessary, and when the meat is well-cooked reduce the sauce until it thick and mostly oils. To serve, arrange the meat and sauce on a serving platter, and top with the caramelized onions and tomatoes.

Clay or Ceramic Tagine Method

Mix the meat with the onions, garlic, spices, herbs and oil. Distribute the onions over the bottom of the tagine, and arrange the meat in the center, bone-side or fat-side down. Add 2 1/2 cups of water, cover, and place the tagine on a diffuser over medium-low heat. Wait patiently until the tagine reaches a simmer, and then adjust the heat to the lowest temperature necessary to maintain the simmer. Allow the tagine to cook undisturbed for about 3 hours, or until the meat is very tender. If necessary, reduce the sauce until thick and mostly oils. Top the meat with the caramelized onions and tomatoes, and serve directly from the tagine.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 3 out of 5
Nice dish, Member ummadam

I tried this dish tonight. I used the pressure cooker to cook the meat, as I don't have a tagine. I don't have ras el hanout and used a bit of cloves and nutmeg as a substitute. I also added more sugar to the tomato and onion carmelized mixture, as I like it a bit sweeter. Good all around recipe.

2 out of 2 people found this helpful.

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