Andalusian veal and plum stew

This delicate stew from The Exile’s Cookbook is made with plums — probably damson — known in Andalusian Arabic by the very poetic name of ʿayn al-baqar (عين البقر, ‘cows’ eyes’), and this is how they appear in the dish as well! The recipe is similar to another stew, known as Murūziyya (مروزية), which in contemporary Moroccan cuisine denotes a honeyed lamb tajine sometimes including plums. Interestingly enough, the author recounts that these plums were imported from ‘the land of the Christians – may Allah destroy it!’

The recipe calls for prime veal cuts, which are cooked in olive oil, pepper, coriander, cumin, onion and ‘good-quality’ murrī. In the next stage, the damson plums — soaked in some vinegar — are added, and finally some saffron for colouring. The author suggests a variation without onions, but with almonds, chickpeas and cloves of garlic.

The accompaniment to this dish? Well, that just has to be couscous of course!

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