Bought a Tagine. Now What?
January 10, 2008 5:07 AM Subscribe
So, I have just purchased this tagine
, and I've got a few questions (and wouldn't mind a recipe or three either)...
posted by peacecorn to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
1) Glazed interior means I don't have to "season" it, as there are no pores open for absorption, correct?
2) I don't own a heat diffuser, but I do own a cast iron skillet wide enough to accommodate the tagine without the skillet walls touching the tagine sides. Will that do the job? Am I better off using my cast iron grill pan, which is ridged and would provide less direct contact and no unwanted indirect heat (as the walls of the skillet would)?
3) Most of the recipes I've read are for the range-top tagine, but most tend to assume you're not using an actual tagine, just cooking in the tagine style (I know the word means both the vessel and the cooking style). Is non-metal glazed pottery of this sort strong enough to allow for range-top cooking (i.e., adding enough heat to bring its contents to a steady simmer)? Did I accidentally buy a decorative/serving tagine instead?
4) Re: beef/pork/lamb... I'm assuming that since you don't brown meats in the tagine (under the broiler at the end of tagine cooking seems to be the accepted method to add color and caramelization), you're going to use some liquid and typically use a stew meat (that is to say, really lean meat won't get as tender as I'd like, and meat with a fat cap isn't as awesome if you can't run a sear first). Is this a fair assumption?
5) I've read that the cone should stay cool/cold to the touch during cooking (apparently something in the whole 3000 year old thermodynamics of the thing). This seems a little counterintuitive if you're leaving the cone on top as you allow the meat to stew. I'm assuming that you cook cone-off until you reach a simmer, then reduce heat some, pop the cone top on and let it stew until everything is tasty. Am I missing something here? Shouldn't the cone start to get hot too? Maybe I missed some context in what I read, or maybe my assumption as to the use of this thing is off-base. Let me know.
6) Anything else I should know? I'm interested in getting the technique right first, then I can mess around with ingredients from there.
Recipes: Difficulty is no olives, no mushrooms. Thanks in advance.