Sunday, 21 February 2016

Beef and Orange Tagine

I mentioned when I did a previous tagine recipe that I really have a problem with sweet fruit in savoury recipes. I then completely had an arse-about-face moment and subsequently wrote up recipes for pineapple sambal and pineapple fried rice. However, that doesn't count because the sambal is a relish and the rice is an accompaniment. My blog, my rules. And that same rule is getting bent just a little bit more now with this with its actual orange content. Well, at least it's not apricots, prunes or raisins that not only don't deserve a place in any dish, savoury or sweet, but actually ought to be projected into the heart of the fucking sun because they are the very stones from the devil's own infernal gall bladder.

Regular guest star of this blog, Rick Stein, usually twats on endlessly about how he's made such-and-such a dish for years, after being taught how to cook it when he was staying at a chateau in France or something. Another famous chef, Nigel Slater, also seems to only cook things that he ate as a child just how his Mum made it. Recipes all done and dusted, all ingredients bought and prepared. However, in sweary cooking, you sometimes have to busk it a little, or, in the words of Blackadder, "Needs must when the devil vomits in your kettle". I'd planned on cooking up a nice lamb tagine but, could I find any lamb in my local shops? Could I bollocks! I bought some beef and decided to improvise this and it turned out quite well.

Preparation 15-20 minutes
Cooking 3 hours

2tbsp olive oil
400g cubed stewing beef
1 medium to large onion, roughly chopped
3 large cloves garlic, crushed
Zest and juice of one orange
1 courgette, sliced
2 large tsp ras-el-hanout
1 carrot, sliced
1 tbsp tomato puree
pinch saffron
250 ml water
1 chicken stock cube

 Heat the oil in a flame proof casserole dish or tagine on the hob.

Add the beef and brown before removing with a slotted spoon

Turn down the heat, add the onion and garlic to the pot and allow to sweat for 10 minutes.

Throw in the carrot and carry on frying gently for another 5 minutes

Add the courgette and ras-al-hanout for a minute return the meat to the dish then add the rest of the ingredients.

Mix well, replace the pot lid and put in an oven at 150 for three hours, checking every hour or so.

Add a little more water if the dish starts to get a bit dry.

Serve it up with something like couscous, with or without a nice Moroccan flat bread

As I said in my preamble, I had planned to make a lamb tagine but I couldn't get any lamb. I got beef and then figured orange would go well with beef and worked from there. This recipe may actually work OK with lamb but I've not tried it.

Ras-el-hanout is one of those wanky-sounding spice mixes that are listed in ingredients of recipes like this when they appear in the Grauniad. I'm reliably informed that this means "top of the shop" in Arabic because it contains the best ingredients they sell in the local spice shop. In actuality it's essentially a variation on a mild curry powder, with an emphasis on aromatic rather than hot spices It's not that different to garam masala (yes, I realise that is another wanky-sounding spice mix, but it's a little less obscure), though if you do use garam masala, this dish will taste a lot like your regular curries.

You could blend your own R-e-H and there are lots of suggestions of which spices to use online, though I bought some from my fave Asian supermarket Mullaco which I swear by. Actually, given the nature of my cooking style, I swear by pretty much fucking everything

Whilst I actually enjoyed this dish, Mrs Sweary thought it was perhaps had a little too much orange, so you might consider halving the amount of orange zest. On the other hand I suspect Mrs Sweary is actually one of the crows from the Kia-Ora advert below. It's actually quite difficult to believe something like this was not only acceptable on UK TV in the 80s, and yet seems to be remembered with some fondness today. It's actually more racist that a UKIP member's wet dream. Whatever, the point is my beef tagine with orange is too orangey for Mrs Sweary. It's just for me and my dog.

I'll be your dog
More offensive black stereotypes than you can shake a burning cross at. But, hey, it's just to sell juice

Admit it, this the first cooking blog that has used the word "vomits" that you have read.

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