Spiced pork tagine

I was riding the HÉV on the way to work, wSpiced pork taginehich is when I usually check out current news and other interests using the Flipboard app on my phone. After filtering out all the garbage news sites, I’ve finally got it to show articles that most appeal to me. Suffice to say, there are a number of cooking blogs that get fed (pun intended) to me, providing a steady flow of new recipes and ideas for family meals. Tagine

I’ve always been intrigued by Moroccan food, the balance between dried fruit and spices, but rarely do I cook it myself, thinking it would be very difficult. Stumbling across this article for pork tagine … I know, pork is not at all what they are cooking in the Arab world, but lamb is much too difficult to get a hold of … I thought I would finally give it a try. What’s the worst that could happen?

Before starting, you should know that “tagine” actually refers to the vessel in which the food is cooked. While I haven’t run out and bought a tagine, mostly because they said I didn’t need one, if you do have one you should definitely use it, but if not don’t sweat it. Although there are lots of spices here, there is a great balance and it’s mellowed by the addition of dried fruit and couscous. Although there are lots of spices here, there is a great balance and it’s mellowed by the addition of dried fruit and couscous.

Ingredients for Pork Tagine

Spice mixture (Ras el hanout)*

  • 10 g ground cumin
  • 10 g ground paprika
  • 2.5 g ground cinnamon
  • 5 g freshly minced ginger (or 2.5g dried ground ginger)
  • 5 g turmeric (kurkuma)
  • 2.5 g crushed red pepper flakes (or to taste)

Optional

  • 500 g pork tenderloin, cut into 3-4 cm pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 thin sliced red onions
  • 1 tablespoons chopped garlic                                   .
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh
    coriander (feel free to omit…I do)
  • 8 dried apricots, slivered
  • Handful of raisins
  • 8 pitted and sliced dates
  • 250g couscous (don’t use fine, pick the larger sized)                                                    .
   
  • Slice tenderloin

    Slice tenderloin

  • Spice mixture

    Spice mixture

  • Spice the pork

    Spice the pork

  • Sear on both sides

    Sear on both sides

  • Sliced onions

    Sliced onions

  • Saute and spice onions

    Saute and spice onions

  • Add broth and dried fruit

    Add broth and dried fruit

  • Return pork

    Return pork

  • Stir in couscous

    Stir in couscous

  • Plate and eat!

    Plate and eat!

Directions

  • Combine spice mixture and place in a bowl
  • Season slices of pork with a spoonful or two of the spice mixture.
  • In a large skillet heat 1 glug of olive oil over medium high heat. When hot add pork. Cook 2-3 minutes a side until golden brown. Remove to plate.
  • Add another glug of oil, add sliced red onions, lower heat to medium, and lower heat if onions start to burn. After 5 minutes or so, when softened, add a spoonful or two of the spice mixture. Add chopped garlic. Add remaining oil and another spoonful of spice mixture. Continue to cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onions are a golden tangled mass. Your kitchen should smell amazing now.
  • Add stock and lemon juice. Turn heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes. Return pork to pan and add dried fruit. Simmer 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the couscous to pan making to mix into the liquid. If it gets too thick add additional water or chicken stock. It should look thick and not too wet. Remove from heat and cover for 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle on parsley, or cilantro, with a squeeze of lemon and eat.

بالصحة (Jó étvágyat in Moroccan)

Did you know?

 

  • pork tagine

    pork tagine

    A tajine or tagine is a North African/Arabian dish that is named after the earthenware pot in which it is cooked.

  • Our ‘Ras el hanout’ mix is quite simplified. A true blend should contain twelve different spices such as cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chili peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek or dry turmeric.
  • Couscous is a Berber traditional North African dish of semolina that is cooked by steaming. It is traditionally served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.

 

*If you are wondering why mine has larger pieces of spices in the images, clearly not as powdered as what’s on the list of ingredients, it’s because I made my own “Ras el hanout” mix closer to the list in “Did you know?”. One mistake I made was adding too much cardamom, and maybe clove, which slightly overpowered the dish. It certainly didn’t ruin anything by definitely too much. Next time I wouldn’t add more than the seeds from 5 or 6 cardamom pods and not more than 4 cloves to my spice mixture.