I’m so excited that tomorrow is ECHO’s Food Less Traveled event. And in celebration of this contest that will be judged not only on taste, presentation and overall experience but also the “food miles” that ingredients have traveled, I offer this fabulous recipe for the aromatic Moroccan stew. The starring ingredients were from my BFF-ish food sources: beef from Applecheek Farm, a stubbornly alive cardoon plant from Red Wagon Plants, and garlic, onions, tomatoes, cilantro and potatoes from the Intervale. The lemons, olives, olive oil, ginger and spices made this a lovely celebration of sultry Mediterranean flavors to spice up that good and local stuff.
Of course this would never be able to win a localvore contest, with so much food from afar on the ingredient list. But it was a pretty darned delightful dinner for these delightful friends:
Plus it was a chance to get to the bottom of the age-old question, “What the heck is a cardoon?,” which is a question you yourself might want to answer if you like that anise-y flavor that artichokes have, or are interested in good, new easy-to-grow things.
Tagine with Beef, Potato & Cardoons
1. Clean 1 or 2 large bunches of cardoon, using these instructions. Keep in lemon juice until ready to use, marveling at how the enormous pile of leaves resulted in this tiny bit of stems.
2. Prepare these quick prepared lemons and keep aside.
3. Heat in a Dutch oven until rippling:
- 3 T. olive oil
Then add and brown well:
- 1 lb. grass-fed beef, cut into 3- or 4-inch pieces
- reserved cardoons
- 1 onion, chopped medium
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
- 2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 c. chopped potatoes, peels removed or left on, as you prefer.
- 1/2 c. water
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Stir very well, bring to a slow boil, then cover and cook over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Check once or twice to make sure it’s not completely dry.
5. Towards the end of the tagine’s cooking time, chop and combine:
- 1 preserved lemon, cut into quarters
- 1/2 c. pitted kalamata or other pungent dark olives
- 2 T. cilantro leaves
- 1 T. flat leaf parsley
6. Remove stew from heat, then stir in lemon mixture. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with couscous or crunchy bread. Good!