I love cooking, though I have to admit I am a bit of an amateur and usually stick very close to the recipe book. Since coming to the Middle East and wanting to learn more about the Arabic culture I have been dabbling in some absolutely delish and easy recipes. My favourite has to be the Moroccan tagine. My interest in this dish was first sparked when I was in the local supermarket and I came across these brightly painted dishes with cone like tops. Curiosity got the better of me and I had to investigate what they were….
A tagine is basically a fancy saucepan to slow cook a stew in. Due to the conical lid, steam rises and the condensation slips back down the lid to keep the meat and veggies nice and juicy, resulting in a beautifully tender and spiced stew. Jamie Oliver has a fantastic Beef Tagine recipe that I usually base my tagines off. A favourite of mine is to add olives, and always about a tablespoon or 2 of honey really kicks the flavours off.
Served up with some flavoured couscous (I like to use the excess liquid from the tagine to make the couscous) it is the most delicious meal with little to no effort involved – even amateurs like me can make a stunning tagine!
Since tagines have now pushed my usual spaghetti bolognese off the menu I have had to try find the perfect wine matches, to match the tender, spiciness of the dish. For a red a GSM (Grenache – Syrah/Shiraz – Mourvedre) blend really complemented the flavours by not over powering the dish but at the same time adding to the flavours with a nice touch of black pepper and dark berry fruits.
Now don’t automatically think you can’t go for a white wine because you are having red meat. A favourite white match for me is a German Riesling – the slight touch of sweetness really fuses with the spices of the tagine. Likewise a white Zinfandel can suit as well.
If you’ve found a fantastic match for a tagine or would like to know more please let me know. Ramadan Kareem all!