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El Lahm el M'qali

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 February 2018 at 11:15
A friend in Europe recently made a variation of this dish, using a recipe from a really great blog on Moroccan cooking:

http://www.mymoroccanfood.com/

The recipe can be found here:

http://www.mymoroccanfood.com/home/lamb-tagine-with-quince?rq=lamb%20tagine%20with%20quince

This variation adds quince, a fruit that I have heard about but have never encountered personally.

My friend used lamb neck and - other than adding a bit of black pepper - followed the recipe fairly closely. There is an ongoing discussion in cooking circles about whether or not to sear/brown the meat in a tajine; traditionally, it not usually done or - if it is done - the browning is very light and possibly incidental to the whole cooking process. For this preparation, my friend had these words on the subject:

Quote When building a tagine with ingredients, you will notice it mostly starts with a layer of onions and other flavor makers, then the raw meat goes on top. I did the same but gave a little wiggle to each piece of meat until it touched the bottom. I'm not sure but maybe that's what is done in traditional tagines too?




He cooked the dish in a stainless steel sauteuse, then served it in the bottom half of a tajine cooking vessel. I must say, the results were absolutely beautiful.

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 10:47
As time passes and we learn more, it becomes easier to spot areas there improvements can be made. In the original recipe from the opening post of this thread, the ingredients and general concepts are good, but the execution by Time/Life's test kitchen seem to need some modification, both to keep the recipe traditional, and for improving the quality and flavour of the end product. Here are some suggestions to take a great dish and make it even better, from a friend in Europe who has quite a bit of experience with Moroccan cuisine:

Quote When I read the first post and the recipe of that El Lahm thread, I couldn’t believe how similar it is to what I cooked! There are a few things in that El Lahm recipe however that caught my attention:

Adding saffron to oil in which the meat is going to be seared would be a mistake. Saffron loses its fragrance if it’s heated too much.

Adding onions after the braising liquid is added should be avoided. This is a dish with an onion sauce as can be seen from the amount of onion used. You get the maximum of flavor by sweating onion and garlic as long as possible. The harsh onion taste will become fragrant, soft and sweet only after some 10 minutes of sweating, so this should be done before the braising liquid is added.

As for the amount of liquid used, braises use very little amounts of liquid at a time, unlike stews where the meat is submerged. In a traditional tagine, they start off with adding maybe one cup, then you should see where it goes. If necessary, more liquid is added and always poured along the sides of the tagine, never on top of the preparation. It is a known fact that your meat can toughen when pouring cold liquid over it while cooking.

This onion sauce should be thick and coat the meat when done. That’s also the task of the onions; when cooked properly and long enough, they will thicken the sauce.

Traditionally water is used as a braising liquid in tagines, but in modern cooking, even in North-African kitchens, stock is used. I’m including a picture of tiny stock cubes made by Knorr for that market.



It contains an orange-colored “saffron” cube. Maybe the word "saffron" is a bit exaggerated, but it works; it adds flavor and color. I didn’t use it in my dish, as I used a vegetal stock base, like the recipe prescribes, but it is a good option.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 February 2018 at 17:31
Other than the Knorr cube, everything your friend says is right on the button, Ron.

As to the cube: While I'm not familiar with that particular version, in my experience all such items contain far to much salt. So I try and avoid them.
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Margi Cintrano View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 May 2018 at 03:55

This would be wonderful with chicken, breasts on or off bone ..  


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Gourmet´s Choice - Time Out In Spain ...

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www.issuu.com / Beyond Taste, Oltre il Gusto ..
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