Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Moroccan bull's tail and penis stew

Some food is weird in some countries but it's not in others. Old civilizations were not all about filleting the meat but rather consuming the whole animal. 

Well, this post I've giving you today is years overdue. The reason? Everytime I was thinking to publish its content, I just couldn't get passed the word "penis. Private parts? not working, because it would include testicles, which is used for other dishes and not this one. 



Then again, this is a food blog and I'm writing about everyday Moroccan food. So there you have it: A stew of tail and bull's penis cooked Mchermel style and I love it (passed the name)..

Now, I've been eating this stew and liking it. It never occurred to me to ask where that white part came from. When I did, my mother gave me a wrong answer (willingly). Then I started writing about food. Then I went to the market, with my mother, to trace that bit back. I took pictures, for you, yes you, reader behind the screen so you know what this looks like before and after cooking.

And it's not like this bit of bull's private part is something the butcher is smuggling or selling in secret. Not at all! It's for anyone who wants to buy it, old people like my mother and my father before here. I don't think the new generation is heavy on it..

Guess now who's asking what that weird bit in the stew is? My nieces. My mother is still giving misleading them, until they want to cook it themselves and would want to buy it! There will be in for a shock, the way I lived it myself.



Passed the shock, this dish is so nice! Give it a try! Or at least you would have discovered that we have this in our Moroccan cooking repertoire, something you won't find in cookbooks.



Ingredients
Serves 6 to 8
Prep: 10 min - Cooking: 6 hrs (slow cooking, tanjia-style) / 1 1/2 h (pressure cooker)

First set of ingredients
  • 1.5 kg of tail and penis section, cut into sections 4 cm long
  • 2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric
  • 1 tbsp of ground ginger
  • 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Second set of ingredients
  • 1 tbsp of paprika or tomato paste
  • A small bouquet of parsley, tied
  • 3 medium-sized tomatoes, grated or finely chopped (discard seeds and skin and keep the pulp)
  • 3 tbsps of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsps of lemon juice or 1 tbsp of chopped preserved lemon

Garnishing
  • 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
  • Purple or green olives
  • Preserved lemon
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil



Preparation

Mix all ingredients listed in the first set of ingredients in a deep pot (or a pressure cooker). Cover with water and cook until the tail and penis bits are tender. Add water if needed. you need to check the tenderness by pinching the meat (well, it's not meat technically, is it? but some of it is). They do take time to cook. If you have a crock-pot, it's the time to use it. 

First stage of cooking

Add the second set of ingredients to the first, except the lemon. Cover the pressure cooker or the cooking pot. Carry on cooking for another 20 min. Stir regularly.

Bull's penis sold at a weekly village market
A few minutes before serving, add the lemon juice or preserved lemon, 1 tbsp of olive oil. Stir. Correct the seasoning.

Bull's tail, incredibly melt-in your mouth after cooking for hours.

The sauce should be reduced before serving.

Transfer the stew into a plate and serve warm along with a good bread.

Since it's a bit of a sticky kind of "meat",  people might need to digest it with mint tea at a later stage.
Some people add strips of char-grilled red capsicums just like they would do for "djaj bel felfla mechouiya " (chicken with char-grilled or gaz-grilled capsicums) which is another old recipe.



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