Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tangine Tuesday Vol. 1: Moroccan Merguez and Vegetable

Tangine Tuesday Vol. 1: Moroccan Merguez and Vegetable

The word tagine refers to two things:

1. A stew of North African origin containing slow-simmered meat, fish and/or vegetables, typically served over couscous.
2. The cone-shaped earthenware vessel it's cooked in.

The flavor profile of tagine can be complex: Sweet elements like raisins, other dried fruits and honey are frequently incorporated into the savory braise, as well as tartness from green olives. The dish features an array of spices from cinnamon to saffron. The shape of the tagine pot lends itself to a perfect braise — the hot, moist air that accumulates in the upper cone condenses into moisture, which cooks back into the dish.

[SOURCE: FoodRepublic.com]

No tangine? Simply use a dutch oven - as I did - or heavy pot. And don't be intimidated by the long list of ingredients; go with whatever meat and vegetables you have on hand - that's what this dish is about.


1 pound merguez sausage (chorizo or other spicy sausage will work fine)

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, sliced (I used 1 red/1 yellow)

3-5 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup green olives, pitted

1 lemon, quartered

2 teaspoons cinnamon powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons paprika (I split 1t smoked paprika/1t regular - harissa or any chili powder would work too)

1 teaspoon turmeric

3 teaspoons cumin

1/2 head green cabbage, sliced

1/2 pound baby carrots, chopped

1/2 pound baby bella mushrooms, quartered

1 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped (~ 1.5 pounds)

1/2 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup dried figs, roughly chopped

1/2-1 cup beer

salt to taste (optional, I didn't add any)

1 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)


Heat cast-iron skillet and brown merguez sausage. Set aside, keep all reserved fat released during cooking in skillet. Once cooled, slice into bite-sized pieces.

In Dutch oven, heat 2T olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, olives, lemon, and spices. Mix to combine well. Add cabbage slowly, Mix once again. Cover and cook until cabbage just begins to soften. 

In cast-iron skillet with reserved fat from merguez, add carrots and mushrooms over medium-high heat to brown before adding to Dutch oven. Repeat with butternut squash.

Add figs, raisins, beer, reserved merguez and any associated fat - cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to cook until merguez is cooked through and vegetables are at desired level of doneness - about 15-20 minutes. 

Uncover and continue to cook if you wish to reduce the amount of liquid.

Add salt and cilantro if desired.

Adapted from: http://www.foodrepublic.com/2013/01/22/moroccan-merguez-and-vegetable-tagine-recipe

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