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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Middle East & North Africa / Help needed on tagine cooking.
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    Help needed on tagine cooking.

    The Dabblers
    Sun Jan 16, 2011 12:39 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    This is a repost of my request in the cooking help forum. Coming to this site was suggested by Zeldac

    Hi all!

    Having talked my way into getting a tagine for Christmas (they really do look great just to have one on the side board) I of course just had to use it.

    I have now tried three times but have had great difficulty in stopping the cooking liquid from overflowing.

    We have a new gas cooktop and it is ferociously efficient, so much so that the right sized burner on low still needs a stack of three diffusers (flame tamers in US) to get temperature low enough for slow simmer.

    But the catch is that once a simmer is achieved there is a pressure build up of steam in the lid which forces the liquid out and over the side of the base.

    I can alleviate that somewhat by having a bambo skewer under the edge of the lid lifting it slightly however once the cooking process has gone far enough the liquid buildup is such that I have to ladle liquid out to lower the level enough to stop the bubbling over.

    So what I really need is help from someone who has had the same problem and solved it.

    Actually I keep thinking that the tagine should have a small hole in the top to relieve steam pressure but I'm only guessing.

    Please help if you can.

    Regards, John
    Since posting the above I have supplied additional info. The tagine is a glazed stoneware cooking vessel - not a server. It is 30cm/11 3/4 inches in size.

    Many thanks in advance, John
    Um Safia
    Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:09 am
    Forum Host
    Hi John,

    I don't know if you have had any luck with replies in your original post regarding your tagine troubles but I'd like to offer a couple of suggestions...

    1) Have you had a good look through recipes which are specifically for tagines? Often you find recipes labelled 'tagine' but they're not actually to be cooked in tagines - the problem with this is that they contain a lot more liquid than is required. The beauty of a tagine is that the steam produced in the cooking process is trapped inside the tagine, producing tender meats and a decent 'sauce'.

    2) If you're not happy with the seal on the tagine after selecting an authentic recipe, you could try an old trick which many North African cooks use on cracked tagines and those with ill-fitting lids....mix up a very thick paste, more dough than paste tbh, from flour and water. Apply this all round the lip of the lid - this creates a tight seal as the dough / paste dries as the temp of the tagine rises. The only downside to this is that it makes checking your food during the cooking process a little tricky!

    Kind regards,

    The Dabblers
    Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:05 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster

    First an apology for taking so long to respond. icon_redface.gif I don't visit here much anymore. I don't like the changes.

    Anyway I finally got some top responses on the original post. You are quite correct the issue seemed to be recipes that were called tagine but were nothing of the sort, that is the volume of the liquid was far in excess of that needed for cooking in a real tagine.

    Proper sealing was not an issue in fact the excellent sealing was part of the overflow problem as the tagine lid acted like a pressure cooker and the pressure forced the liquid down and out.

    Thank you for response

    Many regards, John icon_biggrin.gif
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