Moroccan Tagine of Mutton with Green Beans and Olives Recipe

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Mutton meat is largely used in Moroccan Tagines, known as "Mouton" and it is a rich and flavoured meat. You could make the same tagine with chicken but you have probably knock a few minutes off the cooking time. This is one of my mother's recipe in which all the ingredients used make a delectable combo. Great combination! If you don't have a tagine, you can use any heavy casserole with a lid, or any heavy-bottomed shallow lidded pan or pot. Remember to cook it on very low heat!

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Servings: 4
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Ingredients

Cost per serving $0.92 view details
  • 500 gr to 1 kg mutton meat cut into pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion sliced thin
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 teaspoon fresh coriander and parsley leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon sweet red paprika
  • 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric or curcuma
  • 4 tablespoon argan oil (or olive oil)
  • 500 gr fresh or frozen green beans
  • 2 fresh medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 soupspoonful green olives
  • Pinch pure saffron or safran threads (Since heat releases saffron's flavor essence and so to extract the best flavour out of it, always warm it gently in the frying pan (with no oil) for about 3 minutes, stiring frequentley, then still warm, crush it to a powder either with your hands or with the mortar and pestle)

Directions

  1. I used a stovetop to cook this tagine. Pour oil into tajine and when heated, roast in it the meat, add salt until browned. Don't skip this step, it's important to brown the meat before adding onion and garlic.
  2. Add onion, garlic then let cook covered with the lid for a few minutes (about 10 minutes, stirring frequently).
  3. Once the onion becomes tender and starts changing colour, add tomatoes and chopped fresh herbs, and all spices, stir well. Let cook for 5 minutes with the lid.
  4. Add a little bit of water, but not too much. Like any stew, a tagine needs some liquid in which to slowly braise the meat and vegetables, but using TOO MUCH water will make your tagine far too much watery, bland and tasteless. I added about 60 ml of water no more. Add then green beans (If frozen, they take less time to cook. Let the meat cook for about 45 minutes then add them). Add remainder of tomato on top.
  5. Cover and let cook until the meat and green beans are tender. This takes at least 1 1/2 hours. Remember to spoon sauce over vegetables while the slow cooking process to help the vegetables to get the nice flavour of the sauce and prevent them to dry.
  6. Adjust the seasoning if needed. Check if the meat and green beans are tender, if so add olives at the top.
  7. Let cook for another 15 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle liberally with some black pepper and chopped fresh coriander. Serve your tagine with some bread, as well as 2 or 3 types of vegetable salads, but instead of bread, you might like to serve it with rice, couscous, pasta etc.....
  9. N.B. Tips how to use and cook a perfect tagine:
  10. Always remember that slow-cooking is the key-word. The meat should simmer for a long time, long time until it is almost falling apart, absorbing the flavour of other ingredients.
  11. Never stir during the last cooking process i.e. after adding all the vegetables.
  12. Although Tajines are particularly suited to meat and fish dishes, you can also make vegetarian Tajines and they taste great.
  13. You may use all sort of meats and add your choice of sliced vegetables. You can cook almost any dish in a Tajine.
  14. South Moroccan Tajines require initial browning (they are the best tagines served in Morocco); i.e. meats are always first sautéed and then embellished with combinations of ingredients. Always brown the meat in a little oil and salt, giving it a little time so it'll get that nice brown colour. Don't cover the Tajine while browning the meat. This is almost the colour we are looking for before adding other ingredients.
  15. You may need to check on the liquid level during cooking (DO NOT ADD TOO MUCH WATER).
  16. To prevent vegetables at the top from drying, occasionally, spoon sauce over vegetables while the slow cooking process. This also helps the vegetables to get the nice flavour of the sauce.
  17. You might need to cook your tagine longer than 2 hours even 3 or 4 , depending on the vegetables and meat you have chosen.
  18. Allow to cool before washing your Tajine.
  19. Before you buy a Tajine, make sure to ask all the questions such as : Can you use it on stove top, electric or gaz? can you use it in the oven? etc... There are some types of Tajines which can be used in oven only.
  20. My mother used to say that "a watched Tajine never boils!". If it happens, if you put too much water and the sauce is boiling over, just insert a spoon between the Tajine and its lid. You will find that the sauce will not spurt out (see picture below).

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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 92g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 38  
Calories from Fat 4 11%
Total Fat 0.49g 1%
Saturated Fat 0.06g 0%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Potassium 233mg 7%
Total Carbs 8.02g 2%
Dietary Fiber 2.6g 9%
Sugars 2.56g 2%
Protein 1.65g 3%
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