Ourika Valley

    Moroccan tagines that combine meat and vegetables make wonderful one-dish meals to offer at family dinners or when entertaining casually. They can be slow-cooked on the stove, or prepped indoors and then cooked outside over charcoal for backyard dining or at beach outings and picnics.

    Berber style tagines such as this one are distinguished not only by the seasoning but also by the presentation of ingredients. The vegetables are carefully arranged in conical fashion around the beef or lamb, fully concealing the meat in an artistic, appetizing manner.

    Although many of the tagine recipes on this site include directions for alternative preparations in a pot or pressure cooker, this one is best slowly cooked in the traditional clay or ceramic vessel from which it takes its name. The seasoning below is ideal when using potatoes as the dominant ingredient, but other vegetables are added for color and complementary flavor. Here I'm recommending carrots and zucchini, but either or both can be replaced with fresh peas, green beans, sliced tomatoes, turnips or other veggies you might have on hand.

    Preserved lemon and olives are classic additions and do add a distinctive flavor and some saltiness, but may be omitted if you don't have them on hand. Adjust salt accordingly. If using chicken instead of red meat, see the tips below.

    The tagine serves as both the cooking vessel and serving dish; diners gather around and eat from their own side of the tagine using Moroccan bread (khobz) in place of a utensil.

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