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Both the name of the recipe and of the vessel, it comes from the tasty traditions of Morocco and other Northern African peoples. The vessel is essentially an oven and slow-cooker, and most tagines can be used both in the oven and on top of the stove, then brought to the table for serving. Traditionally used by nomads as portable ovens over charcoal braziers, for making stews, usually containing meat. The low, indirect heat produces a rich, aromatic flavor as the food slowly simmers for hours. Several tagine dishes might be served during a typical dinner, together with, of course, couscous.

Remember to always use care when moving a hot tagine from the oven or stove to the table. Use potholders, and a heavy trivet for your table. The base is both a cooking and serving dish. It is very heavy, made to withstand constant use, and to hold heat longer. The cover is shaped like a funnel, to act like an oven, or a closed chimney. Totally sealed at the top, it keeps heat and moisture inside during cooking, for more flavorful, healthier food. The extended bulb at the top stays cooler, and can act as a handle.

Traditional Terracotta Tagines

Hand made, each piece has its own distinguishing characteristics. Tested lead-free. Glazes cover all surfaces except the bottom of the base, the bottom lip of the chimney, and the top indentation in the chimney, which are unglazed. Use in the oven up to 400°F. On the stovetop, use a trivet between the burner and the base, and always use low heat. Crackling is normal in ceramic pots, which may appear to be cracked. Before cooking in your new ceramic or iron tagine, you can use the traditional method of seasoning by filling it with a mixture of half water and half milk, on very low heat slowly bringing it to a low boil, and let it boil for 15 minutes. Allow it to cool to the touch before handling. Wash by hand; cleans easily.

Tagine Instructions