neděle 4. října 2009

Beef tajine with raisins and apples

I am totally in love with my tajine and the fragrant dishes that come out of it! It’s made from some special ceramic that can be used to cook on the stove, not only in the oven. And this makes it a perfect piece of cookware. I often use the lower dish to sauté or even fry things, because it distributes and holds heat very well. I am thinking about buying an Asian pot from the same product line, if only it wasn't so darn expensive! So, for now I happily stick to my tajine.
Neoluxor stocked only 2 books on Moroccan cooking and so I bought both, one in Czech and one in English. The latter is somewhat more sophisticated and calls for more exotic ingredients, that are apparently irreplaceable but also fairly difficult to find.

The recipe for this tajine comes from this book. The result was very tender meat in an incredibly aromatic and thick sauce. It is best to serve this dish with cous-cous or rice and a refreshing crunchy salad.

1 kg of beef cut into small pieces - I used hovězí zádní
1 onion - diced
125gr raisins - no need to soak them
3 sour apples
3 tablespoons of honey
4 sprigs of cilantro - tied together
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1/2 teaspoons of ground dried ginger
1,5 teaspoons of cinnamon
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
20 gr of butter

Heat up the tajine on the stove with some olive oil and butter and quickly fry the beef. Remove the meat from pan and turn down the heat a bit, add some more oil if needed and throw in the diced onion. Saute until translucent and soft.
Add the saffron, ginger and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon and sauté for another minute until the spices are fragrant, add a generous portion of the freshly ground pepper and pour in approximately 375ml of water. You can always add more water if needed. Put the meat back into the tajine along with the cilantro and add some salt. Mix thoroughly, cover and let simmer on medium to low heat for about 1,5 hour.
Uncover the tajine and add the raisins, add some salt if needed. Cover again and let simmer for another 1/2 hour.
In the meantime cut the apples into quarters and remove the stalks. Heat up some butter in another pan and sauté the apples in the butter. Pout in the honey and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Let caramelise and set aside.
Serve the meat with the apples. You should sprinkle some sesame seeds on top, but I didn't have any.

*I used more cinnamon, ginger and raisins and less saffron, but you can always taste the sauce and add more if you desire. I also increased the cooking time by half an hour.

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