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Moroccan fish tagine

Perhaps not so festive but we find everyone is relieved at this time of year when you serve them some fish. We often turn to fish pie but this tagine is really tasty too and a welcome rest from richer dishes.

Wine Suggestion: A good, youthful Muscadet was our choice; in this case one made by Pétard Bazile that we picked up last time we were in France. There is such quality coming from this region in the Loire and we think the vibrantly fresh Muscadet’s work so well with seafood and fish. This didn’t disappoint.

Chermoula Fish Tagine – serves 4 to 6

  • 1kg white fish fillets with skin removed, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • ½ a preserved lemon, finely chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 600g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm pieces
  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

FOR THE CHERMOULA MARINADE:

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • small handful of coriander (include the stems)
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted and finely ground
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon

Start with the marinade by pounding the garlic, chilli, salt, coriander, saffron & cumin seeds together with a pestle and mortar. Add the olive oil and lemon juice and mix to form a smooth paste (you could also use a mini blender if you’ve got one).

Reserve 2 tsp of the chermoula and put the rest into a large bowl or sealable plastic food bag. Add the fish and toss gently to coat, then leave to marinate for 2 hours (or 1 hour if time is short).

Put a large casserole dish or saucepan over a medium heat and add the 3 tbsp of olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened, then stir in the reserved chermoula and preserved lemon, tomatoes & potatoes. Pour in 300ml of water, season and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes or until the potatoes are almost cooked.

Add the fish along with its marinade, and simmer very gently for another 4 to 5 minutes or until the fish is opaque. Divide between bowls and top with coriander.

Serve with couscous or crusty bread.

(Original recipe from Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen by Rachel Allen, Harper Collins, 2013).

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