Vegetable tagine

When the weather is brisk, there’s nothing that hits the spot quite like meat and vegetables cooked slowly for a long time.

The long cooking will transform the inedible collagen in meat into soft, melting gelatine. And you’ll end up with chunks of meat so tender you can cut them with a spoon.

What’s more, braising is ideal for cheaper cuts of meat.

There is little difference between a casserole or a stew, both of which start with the food first being seared at a high temperature.

For the slow-cooking part, stewing is done on the top of a stove, with heat being applied directly under the pot.

But the casseroles – it’s also the name for the deep dish – go into the oven, where heat circulates all around the pot, reducing the risk of burning.

With most recipes, the cooking methods are interchangeable. It’s really up to you which one you choose.



Serves 4-6

60ml flour

10ml turmeric

700g beef shin, cubed

30-40ml peanut oil

1 onion, chopped

10ml chopped garlic

10ml ground cumin

5-10ml chilli powder

5ml ground paprika

500ml chicken stock

2 stalks of lemongrass, bruised

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2-3 carrots, peeled and diced

3-4 whole star anise

salt and pepper

60ml chopped coriander

Combine the flour and turmeric in a plastic bag. Add the beef and toss to coat.

Heat some oil in a pot and brown the meat in batches. Set aside.

Add a little more oil to the pot and fry the onion and garlic until soft.

Add the cumin, chilli and paprika and fry for a minute.

Return the meat to the pot and add the stock, lemongrass, potatoes, carrots, star anise and seasoning.

Cover and simmer for 1-2 hours until the meat is soft.

Remove the lemongrass and the star anise.

Stir in the coriander and serve.



Serves 4-6

30ml olive oil

1 red onion, peeled and cut into thin wedges

1 red pepper, cubed

1 green pepper, cubed

1 yellow pepper, cubed

15ml chopped ginger

10ml chopped garlic

1 red chilli, seeded and chopped

5 ripe tomatoes, chopped

400g tin of coconut milk

500g firm white fish fillets, cubed

350g prawn tails

30ml lime juice

salt and pepper

125ml chopped coriander

Heat the oil and fry the onion until soft.

Add the red, green and yellow peppers, ginger, garlic and chilli and fry over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until soft.

Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.

Stir in the coconut milk and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat, add the fish cubes and prawns and simmer until cooked.

Add the lime juice and season to taste.

Serve sprinkled with coriander.



Serves 4-6

45ml flour

salt and pepper

5ml ground cumin

700g boned pork neck, cubed

30ml olive oil

10ml chopped garlic

45ml paprika

375ml chicken stock

250g button mushrooms

400g tin of pineapple pieces with juice

125ml thick yoghurt

30ml cornflour

rice for serving

Combine the flour, seasoning and cumin in a plastic bag. Add the pork and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a pot and fry the meat in batches.

Remove and set aside.

Add the garlic and paprika to the pot and fry for a minute.

Return the meat to the pot and add the stock, mushrooms, pineapple and juice and bring to a simmer.

Transfer the mixture to an ovenproof casserole, cover and cook for 1-2 hours or until the meat is tender.

Adjust seasoning.

Combine the yoghurt and cornflour and stir into the meat just before serving with rice.



Serves 8

45ml olive oil

1 red onion, halved and sliced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

4-5 baby parsnips or 1 large parsnip, peeled and sliced

4 baby marrows, sliced

2 potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 quince, cored and cubed

300g butternut, peeled and cubed

45ml tomato paste

3-5ml cayenne pepper

5ml ground ginger

5ml turmeric

2 cinnamon sticks

750ml vegetable stock

2ml saffron, infused in 30ml of hot water

125ml soft, pitted dates

30ml honey

salt and pepper

400g tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

125ml dried apricots

125ml chopped fresh coriander

125ml flaked almonds, toasted

couscous, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pot.

Fry the onion, carrots, parsnips, baby marrows, potatoes, sweet potatoes, quince and butternut for a few minutes.

Add the tomato paste and spices and fry for a few more minutes until fragrant.

Add the stock, saffron-infused water, dates and honey.


Bring to the boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chickpeas and apricots and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Add the coriander and flaked almonds and serve with couscous.



Serves 4

60ml flour

8 chicken thighs

salt and pepper

30ml olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

15ml chopped fresh rosemary leaves

225g chorizo sausage, sliced

125ml dry white wine

300ml chicken stock

370ml jar of puttanesca sauce

30ml black olives, pitted

60ml chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the flour and chicken in a large bowl. Season and toss to coat.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based ovenproof casserole dish over high heat. Cook chicken for 8-10 minutes until golden. Transfer to a plate.

Add onion, celery, garlic, rosemary and chorizo to the pot and fry until softened, 3-4 minutes.

Add wine and cook for a further minute.

Stir in the stock and the store-bought puttanesca sauce.

Return the chicken to the dish and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer dish to the oven.

Cook for 45 minutes.

Remove lid, add olives and cook, uncovered, for 15 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

* Puttanesca sauce typically contains tomatoes, olives, anchovies capers and chilli.

The Star