I really like oven roasted dishes.  You throw everything in a clay pot and let it sit in a low set oven for hours till tender and well blended in flavor.  Excellent year round be especially good for those cool/cold fall and winter evenings.

Sikbaj Tannuri

(Oven Roasted Meat w/Vegetables)

Translation:

This and other cooked dishes, when you want them tannuri, you combine the ingredients and adjust their salt and water and spices and put them in the tannur covered overnight until morning.  Sikbaj is more suitable in the tannur then others.  Take meat as needed and cut into pieces larger then medium and wash clean.  Add its ingredients to it, such as carrots, onions, leeks and some turnips, and season it with vinegar and date molasses and colour it with saffron, and season with salt and spices.  Lid the top of the pot and put it in the tannur through out the night on a moderate fire until morning, then it is taken up.

Rodiscon, pp. 371-372

Ingredients:

1 lb chuck roast or stew meat            2 C. carrots      1 onion 1 leek

1 eggplant                     1 Tbs chopped garlic                ½ C. date molasses

1 tsp cumin, coriander, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper

Redaction:

Any type of meat can be used for this dish.  Choose a well marbled cut.  The meat will be slow cooking for hours and really lean meat will dry out very quickly, while marbled meat will have that melt in the mouth texture.  I did substitute eggplant of turnips as this is not the season for turnips but eggplants were readily available.

Sikbaj spices

This meat is beef stew meat, that was chopped in to slightly larger then bite sized pieces and placed in a bowl.  Goat, chicken or lamb would work well in the clay pot for slow cooking.  Experiment with the meat and the flavors so that this dish remains new and appealing!

The eggplant was cut into cubes (rough cubes) while baby carrots were used.  (I had those on hand).  Period wise, red carrots would have been used after the inner woody core had been removed then cut into bite sized pieces.  Only 1 leek was need though 2 could have been used.  I used one full yellow onion.  Now onion flavoring is up to the modern cook though period onions were probably a little smaller then the store bought onions we buy today and probably a little lighter in flavor then the small intense onions that are grown with out fertilizer or regular watering.  These were cut into small pieces and place in the bowl with the other vegetables.

Sikbaj all mixed

Once the last of the vegetables were cut into pieces the ground spices and garlic were added.  Everything was mixed together very well.

This is where the date syrup would be added…however having used all of mine earlier and forgetting this I had to compensate with honey.  Just as tasty just not quiet what the recipe called for.  If neither date syrup or honey are on hand try a few chopped up dates.  You want the play of sweet against the spicy.

Oil up a tanjine or a deep pottery cooking dish (or Dutch oven) and pour everything in.  Add just enough water to cover and place in the oven for several hours on a low temperature.  When I cooked this I did not add water (though a little bit, about 1 cup of water, would have been good) and put the oven on for 350.  2.5 hours later…every thing came out very well cooked and VERY tender.

Sikbaj Tannuri

This was sooo yummy.  I would suggest barley cooked in broth or rice cooked with saffron.   The hubby liked his with a bit of cheese and lots of meat.   So a bit of goat cheese sprinkled on top is also a tasty suggestion!

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