Thursday, May 28, 2009

moroccan camel tagine

Well I don't even know where to begin with this dish. Yes I found some camel meat and yes it was delicious. But let me skip back one step. My long winded search for harissa came to an abrupt end when after a morning of driving all over the city I found a good supply. Seeing as I'd already used my Alberta lamb up (the original reason I wanted this sauce), I decided to pick up a few cans in case I wanted to attempt my original dish again one day.

Now the camel, which was a surprise as I originally stopped in to check on a delivery of python. The disappointment caused by the lack of snake meat was wiped away by the sight of camel. I've never had camel, or personally know anyone who has eaten it, so I figured a little iron chef challenge was called for. The meat itself is seemed closer to pork in texture, but beefier in taste it that makes sense. Definitely something you don't want to throw on the BBQ for quick steak-like grilling, as it would probably dry out quickly.

With my stash of harissa, I knew I could finally put together the Moroccan dish I saw at Closet Cooking. The dish was straight forward. I cut the camel into bite sized pieces and marinated overnight in a delicious spice blend. After browning and removing the camel, I cooked onions then garlic and ginger. I put in the tomato paste, beef stock and returned the camel meat. After bringing to a boil, then lowering to a simmer it cooked for a few hours. I added a good amount of raisins and dried apricots before letting it simmer for another 40 minutes or so. Right at the end I added honey and harissa before plating on some brown rice. For garnish; some cilantro.

The meal was delicious, although a few pieces of camel were tougher than I would have liked (needed more simmering), it was the spice blend that stuck out. It was fantastic, fragrant, and something I've never used before. It made me think about what it would feel like to go back in time and hear your favorite song again for the first time. I just loved these spices from the start. The rice sucked up all the extra sauce and made for an even tastier side.


Maki said...

You, my friend, are one adventurous guy. Camel? Python? I wish I had the nerve to try unique things but well, I know myself well enough.

You didn't say what it tasted like? :) Mmmmmm... let me guess, camel tastes like chicken?

Anonymous said...

Wow you weren't kidding when you said you were going to branch out from haggis.


Dave said...

Not sure where you're getting your python, but my normal meat supplier had some 2 weeks back. Was going to pick some up (and some blood sausage) but the slab bacon and pork loin were calling my name.

Cheryl Arkison said...

Camel sounds fantastic, but it never would occur to me to seek out python, and in Edmonton no less.

Chris said...

Thanks Maki. We'll have to sneak something adventurous in for you one day but tell you it's chicken! :)

Thanks bruleeblog. It's amazing what's out there just waiting to be eaten.

Dave - I bought it from a vendor on the southside. The python is only occasionally ordered in, as he mentioned the cost is just too high to always have it in stock. I picked up some blood sausage a little while ago, but nobody wants to touch it. Maybe I'll swing by one of the days and we can create a proper english breakfast!

Cheryl - I hadn't considered python either really, but it came up in conversation at the meat store and sparked my interest. I'll be sure to write about it when I finally get some.

Kevin said...

I have certainly never had camel before but it sure would be nice to try some some time. I have also never had snake meat... It sounds like the camel would go well in the tagine.

Chris said...

Kevin, I have to thank you. Your site is so full of inspiring dishes!

SulaBlue said...

Wow. I stumbled over here from The Fresh Loaf. I must admit... I don't think I've ever seen a camel recipe before! Snake, alligator, rabbit, and all sorts of backwoods varmits, yes. Camel... sounds interesting.

Ellen said...

Whoa, camel meat?!! I didn't even know it was possible to get that here. The tagine looks amazing. When I was in Morocco I couldn't get enough of the lamb tagine with prunes. I guess I'll have to branch out and try me some camel! Looking at your photo makes my mouth water!

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