This was one of my big presents from Rich for Christmas last, and I mean big as in its price; at around $160US, this is not your basic clay-pot chicken makin’ kinda of tagine. This all-ceramic beauty, part of Emile Henry’s Flame line is oven, stove top, and even grill safe – well, up to 500º – and you would not believe how mind-bogglingly handy it is to have around. I’ve sautéed, baked, braised, browned, burned (once – oops) and generally just used the heckoutof this pan once I got beyond the kinda weird milk bath.
Yeh, before first use, it was recommended that I simmer an inch or so of milk in the base for five minutes. I thought it a little bit funky, but that’s what the manual said to do, so I went and simmered.
And haven’t looked back.
Truth be told, I am not all that keen on traditional North African/Moroccan food – a bit too much cumin and cinnamon for my tastes – but it just so happens that this tagine is perfect for cooking up a batch o’ crispity bacon.
Of course, once the bacon is cooked and draining, I can add onion and garlic and begin to put together the base for a fresh batch o’ Bacon Jam – adding the espresso and brown sugar and vinegar and reducing it all before popping the whole thing into the food processor and, finally, the slow cooker to finish.
Clean up? No worries! – soak the base in soapy water for 20 minutes.
Next up, I was in the mood for mussels in a garlic, wine, and tomato sauce. Once again, satuéeing onion and garlic in the tagine was a snap – I love the wide bottom and low sides – and adding the fire-roasted tomatoes, white wine, stock, and parsley and simmering for five minutes was pretty pain-free as well; but when it came time to add the mussels – one of my very favorite of all the bivalves – the tagine worked more than a treat. Add the mussels, close with the lid, then simmer for five minutes while you gather your crusty bread to sop up all those garlicky juices. YUM.
I still hadn’t really set about to testing my new wonder-pot in what it is traditionally know for: braising.
Hmmm. I believe a Pot Roast o’ Love was called for.
I have long since given up on the idea of browning my chuck roast – preferring to nestle it on top of a bed of aromatic veggies and seasoning it well before sealing it all in a foil packet.
The flat base of the tagine made for a nice platform to strew my onion, garlic, celery and carrot across the foil, and the wide, sloping sides nicely accommodated nestling the roast, rubbing the seasonings in, then flipping it and some more nestling and seasoning rubbing.
Close the foil, place the tagine cover on the base and pop in the oven.
How’d it turn out?
Take a look for yourself. As I note in the pot roast post, I don’t really care for the veggies that have been basically soaking in the fat from the chuck roast, so tend to toss them; but the tagine braised one fine pot roast, in my opinion, and the parsleyed potatoes and tossed salad with spicy Russian dressing weren’t too, too bad, either.
So far, I’ve used the tagine for sautéeing veggies, crisping bacon, reducing sauces, simmering seafood, and braising beef.
How about just plain ole baking?
Yep. I arranged some cooked frozen portobello ravioli around the base of the pan, added a bit of my Best! Doctored Sauce and some shredded cheese, then covered and baked until nicely melted.
Nice. And, again, the clean up was a cinch.
As I’ve noted in the lead-in to the ‘Stuff I Like’ link at the top of this post – this is not a commercial. The no-doubt nice folk at Emile Henry have not paid me to do this hommage to their very fine little cookery pot; if that ever changes, I will be the first to add ‘sponsored post’ in big, friendly, bold letters across the top of any post or product mentioned in any post.
That all said, I think you need one of these pots – and don’t cheap out and get the $30 clay one, this is truly a multi-use pot that I kinda wonder how I’ve gotten along without for so long.
Oh, and sponsors? If you’re willing, I am nothing if not ready!