This is another warming winter Tagine and this time it is beef and little else but also very quick and easy when you have ran out of ideas and you need a hot meal in 30 minutes! Some dishes carry a little dream after them and this one will transport you in whichever exotic oasis you choose to visit…
The pyramid shape is magic for flavours
Ingredients list: for 20 meatballs
- Ground beef, 500g
- Tin of chopped tomatoes – or 2 fresh ones in season!
- Passata, 200ml
- Half a jar of chickpeas
- Seasoning: harissa, thyme, sage and hot paprika to taste
- More seasoning: M’rouzia or Ras El Hanout, 1 Tbsp
- Light olive oil, 1 Tbsp
- Salt and pepper to finish
- Chopped fresh parsley, one handful
- Pomegranate seeds, a small handful
First mix the ground beef and the seasoning (harissa, thyme and sage or other flavours) and roll small ping-pong ball sized chunks into oiled hands.
Chop the onions, diced up, and fry them in a little oil (1 Tbsp). Do not let the olive oil smoke, keep the heat under control.
Fry the meat balls in the oil for a few seconds.
Add the chopped tomatoes, M’rouzia or other Tagine spices, some hot paprika and the passata with a little water if needed.
Add the rinsed chickpeas – and frozen peas as well if you wish!
Only add salt towards the end as the stew will reduce and only very little salt will be needed, if any.
Cover and put on low heat for 30 minutes. If you can, use a pointy Tagine dish as the condensation of flavours is unmatchable by any other method.
Present with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and parsley. I love rich colour in food – it enhances the appetite.
Serve with steamed rice and vegetable or some couscous. Or just big slabs of flat bread to mop up the sauce…
A nomad’s tent near Marrakech
This tent is my dream place, and represents the best place ever to taste the sort of Tagines that I am raving about… This photo was taken at dusk, just before dinner was served. You are in an oasis, in the middle of the desert… I can just imagine I am back there as if lifted by a magic carpet and everything suddenly tastes so much better…