Oxtail, Apricot and Prune Tagine

Sweet, Sour, Savoury and Spicy but not hot, this is one of the tastiest dishes you will ever try. Oxtail, Apricot and Prune Tagine is a Moroccan inspired dish of fall of the bone oxtails slowly braised with apricot, prunes and almond infused with spices such as turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, onions, garlic and pepper.


The flavour and the aroma of this dish will bring you Morocco, inspired by the many tagine dishes of the region we are making one at home using one of my favourite cuts of beef, the oxtails. Usually, tagine is made with meaty cuts of lamb, beef, chicken or seafood together with vegetables as it is served typically with bread to easily grab the tender meat as well as to soak all of those tasty juices that the tagine pot traps during the slow cooking process. Today we are using an oxtail as it will give even tons of flavours to the dish, while it not common, this cut of beef is also used widely in Morocco.

Cooking tagine requires a lot of patience, especially when tough cuts are used. The slow braising process is a painful wait as you smell the aroma that awaits to be devoured. While to cook it correctly requires that cooking vessel with the same name, you can use other cookware that creates the same effect. First the cooking vessel should be shallow so nothing is drowning in the sauce cooking every element of the dish directly on its surface. Second the steam should circulate around the cooking vessel eventually cooking each ingredient as the hot air flows inside and the tasty juices is distributed during the evaporation and condensation process. Lastly this steam should not escape the lid becuase this is where the flavours develop, little water is used as well taking note this dish originated in a place where water is scarce, but that constraint gave this dish the character it needed. Finally, it should be cooked in an earthenware pot as it gives a different dimension in flavour when cooked in a vessel like this, similar to how oak barrels give flavour to whisky and wine.

Honestly I don’t have a tagine cookware at home, I would love to but I don’t cook this quite a lot, so owning one won’t be necessary and it will just be another clutter in the kitchen, what I used though to cook this dish is using a large flat thick bottom pan so that I can lay all my ingredients in one layer then covering it with a convex lid that can seal the juices inside, the only thing is that none of those are made of clay otherwise the results was still stunning.


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Oxtail, Apricot and Prune Tagine

  • Author: Raymund
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 4 hours 15 mins
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Description

Oxtail, Apricot and Prune Tagine is a Moroccan inspired dish of fall of the bone oxtails slowly braised with apricot, prunes and almond infused with spices such as turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, ginger, onions, garlic and pepper.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 kg oxtails
  • 3 cups water
  • 3 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp saffron threads
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • small bunch parsley
  • small bunch coriander
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup of pitted prunes
  • 3/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/2 cup almonds, roughly sliced
  • salt

Instructions

  1. Season oxtail with salt, set it aside.
  2. Bunch up the parsley and coriander then tie it with a kitchen twine. Set it aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a pan then brown oxtail pieces on all sides, remove from pan then set it aside.
  4. Add the onion then cook until soft.
  5. Add the garlic then continue to sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the oxtails back together with the rest of the ingredients apart from the prunes, apricot and almonds. Cover tightly then simmer in very low heat for three hours.
  7. After three hours it the sauce will be thick and oily. Add and scatter the prunes, apricot and almonds on the top cover it again tightly then simmer for one more hour.
  8. Remove the parsley and coriander bunch, place in serving platters then serve.

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6 Responses

  1. Oxtails taste GREAT prepared at any way, but this is one of my favourites!

  2. I’ve only had oxtail for a couple of time, but I can tell this is outrageously delicious 🙂 I also DO love the addition of prunes and apricots.

  3. Inger says:

    This looks so rich and flavorful. I’ve only had oxtails in soup before.

  4. Great minds seem to think alike, Raymund! I will be posting an oxtail stew in a couple of weeks, I’m really glad to have your recipe for this Moroccan style version. I plan to make it very soon.

  5. suituapui says:

    Never tried cooking my own oxtail. I bought oxtail curry that day – the oxtail was great but they could have done a better job with the curry. RM80 for a tub, not cheap!!! 🙁

  6. I make a similar tagine but have never tried it with oxtail which my husband loves. This sounds great!

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