Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Mystery Meat

I'm in a rut. Every day I have the same conundrum. What are we going to have for dinner? Now I am a person who loves, L-O-V-E-S, food. But with less choices available here than in America, menu options leave me feeling pretty ambivalent. There are so many layers to my culinary depression, so let's start small. Moroccan meat. No, this is not a euphemism for something else although I'm sure that this term is to be the next search words on my blog stats for the ever growing number of people who have stumbled upon my blog while looking for porn. At least I know where my market is. The meat market.

I could go into this whole thing about explaining what halal meat is and that eating beef with the blood drained out makes beef a whole lot less tender, tasty and beef-y. Maybe I'd describe the strong pungent (gross) taste (and smell) that is lamb, just in case you didn't know. My discovery that pork is NOT the other white meat in Morocco. And I haven't even covered seafood and how salmon is ridiculously expensive, that the readily available inexpensive Panga fish comes from some of the most polluted waters in Vietnam and how mealy and freezer burnt the shrimp is. Or that I considered going back to vegetarianism. But I'm not gonna do that. Instead I'm just gonna say, we eat a lot of chicken. AND I CAN'T EAT ANY MORE CHICKEN!

I had almost taken a solemn vow to the broccoli, that I can almost never find, when I saw it at the Marjane, a new meat. A meat my kids have never eaten before.

So you know I'm gonna try it, right?

I'm going to throw it into a tagine that I usually make with beef and figs.

By the way, authentic Moroccan tagines would be cooked in a proper tagine pot like this one, not a cuisinart pan with the non-stick coating that probably causes cancer.

But this doesn't work for me for two reasons. First, I'm a stupid American who didn't grow up cooking on a clay tagine pot so I can never get it to cook just right. Second, the Moroccan urban legend is that some tagine pots contain lead. And while I don't think it's true, I don't want to find out it actually was later. I mean, have you read the book Beethoven's Hair?

My other unauthentic Moroccan tagine faux pas? I cook it with wine, which is haraam (forbidden).

I whip up an unauthentic Moroccan salad because I added cracked wheat which makes it more half tabbouleh-half Moroccan salad. Whatever.

I serve up my wine soaked fig mystery meat tagine with Moroccan sweet potatoes, which if you're used to American sweet potatoes I would go with the term semi-sweet potatoes.

So what is it?

And no, thank god, ostrich does NOT taste like chicken. And no, my kids had no idea what they ate. And no, they didn't like it. But in all fairness they don't like anything. But guess who did? And guess what I bought again at the Marjane today?

Ostrich, it's what's for dinner.


Roy A. said...

I can't vouch for Moroccan meat (actually, I agree it's not the best), but Chalal is ok. Maybe I should send you a few recipes that were derived for Chalal/Kosher, where the blood is drained that work beautifully.

And, yes, broccoli is not one vegetable to choose. Squash?

hocam said...

I think İ just became a vegetarian reading this post!

Nelieta said...

Ostrich meat is really great and very healthy :)

Jaime Brown said...

I think I just had a food orgasm when I saw that salad. Wait...yeah.

A Brilliant Life said...

This is awesome. I know you have like way more experience in providing the family dinner, but do you ever do weekly menus? And try interspersing the tagines with italian stuff like lasagna and what not. Or you could even do asian, italian, moroccan, american, repeat type of thing. Just to get out of your cooking rut. I went through it hard core as well for a bit there. I live for veggies though and the meat is always an after thought. I am currently obsessed with making sure I get the best of the seasonal produce and have been trying to keep a market journal on FB to chronicle a year so that the next year I don't miss stuff. All of that to say...QUINCE is (or maybe was - it could be gone already) in the markets now. And the 'tagine de coing et miel' is badass and if you do meat and figs you would probably love that.

Anonymous said...

Never tried Ostrich meat but join you when you say you can't go with chicken anymore......I am growing tired and chicken..and lamb!
But lucky to have a husband fisherman so I can eat fresh fish whenever I want......without this I think I would have to travel to Morocco to buy some Ostrich!!

The Loerzels said...

@ Marie-Fresh fish, I'm so jealous!
@ Carrie-Love your food journal idea!

Anna and Kim said...

That Panga fish we kept eating was from Vietnam?


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