Saturday, January 12, 2013

venison tagine {moroccan}

i may have mentioned before
(a time or three)
that hubs is a hunter
affords us a freezer full of rich meats
antelope, boar, venison, elk

venison works well with the heady spices 
found in an african pantry
venison tagine
serves 4

1 1/2 lbs venison (or lamb) cut into chunks
1/2 cup (about) flour
olive oil
salt to taste
3/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbs garam masala-after grinding*
large pinch saffron threads
2 cups warm water
1 medium onion-grated
1 clove garlic-finely chopped
generous handful dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup dried apricots, cut into slivers
1 lemon-grated zest and juice
1 cup blanched almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbs unsalted butter

dissolve saffron in the warm water. preheat oven to 350F. heat olive oil in bottom of heavy bottom (oven proof) pot or dutch oven.  coat the venison pieces in flour and brown in olive oil.  once brown, add in onion and cook until the onion just begins to brown on edges. toss in garlic and give it a few stirs. allow to cook a couple of minutes.  add saffron water, cover and place in preheated oven.  cook until venison is very tender about 45-60 minutes).  remove from oven, add in cranberries (or cherries if using), apricots, honey, lemon zest and juice, almonds, and honey.  place over medium heat on stove and cook for about 15 minutes more. if it appears to be too dry add a bit of warm water just to loosen a bit. if it is too watery, remove the top and cook and stir to slightly thicken.  remove from heat and stir in butter just before serving.
serve with couscous or over rice
*i use whole spices-toast them and then grind in mortar and pestle...but if you can find garam masala in your spice aisle, by all means use it!


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