A healthy one-pot tagine recipe to make you feel like a domestic goddess? Enjoy…
Every culture has its one-pot meal. Across Britain, we still love our hotpots and stews – and Liverpudlians are so keen on scouse, they nicknamed a whole city population after it.
But – big thanks to Google for the A to Z of stews – there’s more to a one-pot meal than beef, carrots and dumplings. From aji de gallina (Peruvian chicken stew) to zoervleis (Belgian/Dutch sweet horse meat stew. Er, no thanks!), it all sounds more exotic in a different language. And the ingredients change with the geography too, so just a few tweaks can switch up a boring stew into a thrilling mechado (a beef dish from the Philippines, apparently).
They all have two massive advantages over any other dinner: less washing up and less stress. There’s that point when you’re making a full English breakfast or a proper roast dinner when you’ve got all the roasting tins overlapping each other in the oven, plus every burner on the hob bubbling away and the family is poking around, getting under your feet and claiming to be starving.
The one-pot meal does away with all that. In my mind, when I plan a cassoulet or a ragout or – as in this case, a tagine, I see myself floating, goddess-like, around my kitchen. I’ll calmly chop, braise and brown as required (possibly trilling a classic song from the shows) pop the generous pot into the oven and spend a chilled-out hour doing something meaningful with the kids. Finally, I’ll don the oven gloves and serve from the bubbling bowl of deliciousness into eagerly-offered bowls.
In reality, the kids end up on the X-Box as usual and I probably use the time to fold some washing or watch Richard Osman’s House of Games. But at least there aren’t so many pans to wash up. And it tastes brilliant.
North African Meatball Tagine
Serves 4 • Ready in 1 hour
1 tbsp olive oil (99 cals)
1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper (68 cals)
500g (1lb 2oz) turkey thigh mince (ground turkey thigh) (755 cals)
2 tsp mild chilli powder (28 cals)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 medium onion, chopped (54 cals)
1 × 400g (14oz) can chopped tomatoes (64 cals)
500ml (generous 2 cups) chicken stock (made with 1 cube) (35 cals)
100g (½ cup) pearl barley (360 cals)
1 tbsp shop-bought salsa (7 cals)
1 tbsp apricot jam (63 cals)
juice of 1 lime (4 cals)
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/Gas mark 4 if using.
• Sprinkle the seasoned flour and half the spices over the turkey mince and use your hands to mix it through. Shape the meat into individual balls.
• Heat the oil in a large lidded casserole dish over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, toss in the meatballs and fry for about 2 minutes without stirring. Use a fish slice to turn and fry the other side for a further 2 minutes. Remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside.
• Turn the heat down to low and add the onion. Stir in the rest of the spices, then add the chopped tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil. Add the pearl barley and simmer for 10 minutes.
• Return the meatballs to the casserole. Stir in the salsa, jam and lime juice. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 1 hour OR transfer to a slow cooker and cook on low for 6–8 hours.
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