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How do I use a tagine?

I just received a beautiful tagine from Williams Sonoma but it doesn't include directions. Can I put it on the stove or only in the oven? All my tagine recipes seem to have you saute on the stove then on the stove or bake in the oven...and do i soak the lid first, which is clay? Does it need to go into a cold oven, like a Schlemmertopf? Thanks!

asked by lisabu almost 3 years ago
10 answers 3634 views
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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 3 years ago

Your earthenware tagine needs to be seasoned before first use. Also, it's a good idea to have a flame tamer when cooking with clay.
To season soak the base overnight in the sink. In the morning cut a clove of garlic in half and rub the bottom of the base (the unglazed side) with the cut garlic. Fill the base about halfway with water and white vinegar. Bring that to a simmer on your flame tamer. When the liquid is almost evaporated it's ready to use. Earthenware is fired at really high temperatures and are prone to cracking unless you season them first.

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added almost 3 years ago

Locate some ras el hanout spice mix and use that as your spice base. Google Moroccan tagine recipes on line. I use mine on top of the stove with great success. Chicken, lamb, dried apricots, raisin, onion are basics. Good luck - I am sure you will enjoy the outcomes.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 3 years ago

Ras el hanout roughly translates as "top shelf." It's a pleasingly fragrant blend of spices. To fully enjoy your tagine you might want to pick up a copy of CLAYPOT COOKING by Paula Wolfert. It's really wonderful and you will gain some useful insights on technique and flavor.

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added almost 3 years ago

Thank you both! Its so beautiful I want to make sure I don't crack it. So I can brown the meat in it on the stove if I use a flame tamer?

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 3 years ago

The tagines used for cooking in Morocco are made from clay. They are very much used for every-day cooking, including on the street where they sit above coal or wood fires. When they are put n ovens, the heat is intense, but not direct--I have seen clusters of tagines being tended in huge ovens located under hamamms, where the man responsible for keeping the flames burning also ensures that the tagines are cooking properly. That said, the beautiful tagines that Williams-Sonoma sells are more appropriately used for serving rather than cooking. If you want to cook in one, I think it would be better to get a very plain, functional traditional tagine for the heavy duty prep and save your fancy one for table service.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added almost 3 years ago

Excellent advice from Maedl. Simple glazed clay tagines are very inexpensive and easy to find. Same goes for Spanish cazuelas.

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Maedl

Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.

added almost 3 years ago

PS You can make your own ras el hanout. It is a spice blend and every shop makes its own version. Recipes abound around the web, but I would check Claudia Roden's or Paula Wolfert's books--which belong in your collection if you are going to explore Morocco's foods.

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added almost 3 years ago

http://www.zencancook.com..., a good recipe for raz el hanout but remember that you can only find authentic raz el hanout in Morocco.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

Chops is a trusted home cook.

added almost 3 years ago

Oe of the advatages of buying a product from Williams-Sonoma that they take their products back - no questions asked! They also offer great information, recipes and feedback, as you may know. From the usage & maintenance information from their earthenware tagine (you may have read this already)
Use
Safe for use on gas and electric cooktops and outdoor grills; on stovetops use a diffuser.
Oven safe to 350º F.
Always warm the base up slowly over a low flame.
Always use moderate temperature and do not subject to sudden hot and cold temperature changes.
Tagine can become very hot; use oven mitts and trivets when handling.
With use small cracks will occur, this is normal and will not affect performance.
Care
Allow to cool before washing.
Hand wash and dry with a soft cloth.
Dry thoroughly before storing.
You will need to season your tagine before using. Soak in water for 24 hours. Coat the interior with olive oil and place in a cold oven. Set oven temperature to 225º F and leave for 1 1/2 hours. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Once cooled wash with warm soapy water and towel dry.

To this end, play & enjoy. It's noted that small cracks even with proper seasoning & maintenance can occur and deemed "normal", beyond that return it for another.

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added almost 3 years ago

Thanks again sexy lambchop! This is so helpful. I if if had the directions I lost them. Also thrilled to get the paula wolfert recommendation. I have her cooscoos and other good foods of morocco and found some good recipes there.