Join twowildtides on the country challenge. Each week, we’re going to be heading to a new country (in spirit). Primarily, we’ll be cooking a meal from each country; but we’ll also be watching travel documentaries, reading travel blogs, and listening to music. During the global pandemic, travel is largely inaccessible. We want to reignite our wanderlust, satisfy our travel bug as much as we can, and learn some new things along the way. I have a feeling our bucket list will have a number of items added to it through this experience as well. We created a simple alphabetical spreadsheet with all the countries of the world, and each week we will draw a random number that corresponds with a country on the spreadsheet.
We put our random number generator to the side this week, however. My grandparents invited my partner, sister and I to their house for the weekend and suggested we cook a dish called Tajine, in their Moroccan Tajine pots. That’s why this week, we visited Morocco. It was really fun to bring more people into the challenge and talk about another country’s customs with others. I was also excited to try a new type of cookware.
My grandparents had a cookbook that came with the Tajine pot when they purchased it in Morocco. I spent my morning drinking coffee and flipping through pages of mouthwatering and gorgeous Tajine recipes.
We follow a recipe similar to the one below, however, we adapted it to use pork as we did not have beef on hand and limited access to lamb in our community. I am aware that Morocco is a predominantly Muslim country, and people who practice the religion of Islam do not tend to eat pork as the pig is a sacred animal. We respect this belief and would have preferred beef or lamb, had it been available to us. We also wanted to use what we had on hand instead of being wasteful.
First we fried the meat, onion, and spices in a pan. Then, the mixture was added to the Tajine pot with the other ingredients and slow-cooked in the oven for a couple hours.
The Tajine pot is cone-shaped on top in order to ensure all condensation is returned to the bottom of the dish, really infusing the flavours. I would think the best replacement option if you wanted to cook a Tajine dish but don’t have access to a Tajine pot is a slow-cooker.
The aroma throughout the house was incredible. The cinnamon dominated and complimented the pears perfectly. We served the pear and pork concoction on top of couscous to make a light yet hearty meal. For us, this was up there with the Plov from Uzbekistan in terms of being rich and flavourful. We really, really enjoyed this meal together.
My grandparents were kind enough to gift me one of their Tajine pots, a third pot, which they purchased on a trip to Tunisia (hint hint for when we make it to Tunisia in this challenge!) I am so happy to have my own Tajine pot so I can try these dishes again in the future.
Have you been to Morocco? Linds has! Check out her articles about her trip here: