How to make Moroccan veal tajine with plums
Tajine with dried plums is undeniably one of the most famous of Morocco's dishes, usually served at family occasions or special events, such as iftar during Ramadan.
With many variations across North Africa, it strikes a great balance between sweet and savoury. Serve to an eager social gathering with lots of crusty bread.
Preparation and cooking time: 2 hours 15 mins
For the tajine
- 750g (1.6lbs) veal shank
- 1 chopped onion
- a clove of minced garlic
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- ¼ tsp of saffron pistils
- 1 tsp of pepper
- 1 tsp of grated fresh ginger
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of turmeric
- 1 small bunch of parsley and coriander
- water to cover (500ml)
For the plum garnish
- 300g (11oz) dried prunes
- 3 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- In a large casserole pot, heat the olive oil to a medium to high heat and brown the veal shank on each side.
- Add the chopped onions and lower the heat to medium.
- Cover with a lid and leave the onions until they are soft and translucent - but not brown - for about 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices, salt and pepper to the casserole.
- Pour over 500ml of water until covered. Place the coriander bouquet on top of the meat.
- Bring to a boil and cover with the lid. Reduce to a medium-low heat.
- Leave to simmer gently for 2 hours or until the meat is soft and separates easily from the bone.
- Note: Halfway through cooking (about 1 hour in) scoop ½ cup (125ml) of broth from the casserole and set aside.
- While the shank is simmering, start on the caramelised prunes.
- Put the prunes in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften, then drain.
- Then, in a small deep skillet, transfer the reserved broth from earlier, the drained prunes, cinnamon and honey. Put on a medium-low heat.
- Leave to simmer for 5 minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To serve, place the veal shank and the onion sauce on a plate.
- Arrange the prunes and the syrup from the prunes on top. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.
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