This camel tagine is an explosion of flavours; warm spices, sweet dried fruits and delicious camel stew meat. Serve it on a bed of couscous and you have the perfect dinner! Leftovers taste even better!
Camel meat is sweeter than beef and it marries nicely with sweet flavours of this stew or tagine recipe. It is also leaner than both beef and lamb, so that’s a bonus if you want a lower-fat alternative. A tagine is basically a Moroccan-style stew usually cooked in special earthenware pots over low heat for a very long time. Of course, buying a genuine traditional tagine earthenware pot isn’t accessible to everyone, it is possible to also cook these recipes in a glass or ceramic casserole dish.
This recipe is based on a lamb tagine recipe from this book. However, I’ve modified it, added my own touch and, of course, I’m using camel meat, which is leaner than lamb and sweeter. Camel meat also requires longer cook times because it’s so lean and can be chewy if not cooked long enough. I’ve also added dried apricots even though the original recipe calls for prunes only because I just love dried apricots so much. I’m happy to report that the apricots worked beautifully in this recipe! I highly recommend serving this with some prepared instant couscous. You can make traditional couscous if you’re ambitious; however, it takes a long time to prepare and requires some special equipment. Instant couscous works great and takes 5 minutes.
- 450 grams of camel stew meat, chopped into one-inch cubes
- Four or five medium sized carrots, chopped into 2-inch thick chunks
- One large onion, chopped
- Three garlic cloves, chopped
- Two heaped tablespoons tomato paste
- Half a teaspoon each of powdered cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cumin
- Salt to taste
- One cup of dried apricots
- One cup of prunes
- Instant couscous (because life is too short for traditional couscous!)
- Two tablespoons canola oil
- One tablespoon olive oil
- Three to four cups of water or more if needed.
- Preheat your oven to 340 degrees Fahrenheit
- In a saucepan or if your casserole dish can be used on the stove-top, heat half the canola oil. Add in the camel meat, salt, half the spices. Sear until brown all over.
- Set the meat aside, heat the rest of the canola oil in the saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and more salt and the rest of the spices.
- Add the tomato paste then add two cups of water. Let it come to a boil, then add the meat back in.
- Place the mixture into the oven and cook for 2 hours. Check the water level every 40 minutes. If it starts getting dry, add more water. The water should always cover the meat two-thirds of the way.
- In the meantime, place the dried fruits in a bowl and add some hot water to let them soften for 10 minutes.
- After 2 hours, remove from the oven and mix in the dried fruits. If the mixture needs more water you can add the water used for soaking the fruits. Replace into the oven and cook for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender.
- For the couscous: prepare according to package instructions, add a little salt to taste and one tablespoon of olive oil. Fluff up with a fork. Ladle into bowls, then ladle the stew mixture on top. Enjoy!
Have you ever made a camel stew or a Moroccan-style tagine before? What is your favourite recipe? Let me know in the comments!
For more camel recipes, check out this Camel Kofta recipe.
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