Moroccan Pork Tagine Stew + Spices

Spices are my favorite – especially when it comes to learning about the spices and their origins.  Food cultures all over the world are defined by the ingredients and spices available in each area. Overtime, availability changes due to trade, travel, politics, or technology! It’s all super interesting (and long, so I’ll spare you the thesis and just cut to the chase) – tonight I’m cooking with spices from Morocco.

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I discovered Victoria Gourmet’s spices through my job (one of the many-many-many super awesome perks of my job). Victoria hooked me up with some samples when I visited their factory in Woburn, MA. Her spices aren’t like other spices – they aren’t finely ground, dull and unrecognizable – they are fresh, bright and fragrant! And they make anything taste just as delicious as they smell.

Victoria makes a seemingly infinite number of spice blends – tonight I’m cooking up a pot of something that very loosely resemble a Moroccan pork tagine with VG’s Moroccan Seasoning.

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Disclaimer: I’ve never made this before, but I’ve been craving some middle eastern spices ever since I watched the Beirut episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on Netflix last week. Even though it is currently 96 degrees outside, my crockpot is full of hot spicy goodness.

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Moroccan Pork Tagine

1.5 lbs pork shoulder, chopped in 3″ pieces
4 carrots, in 1/2″ slices3 celery stalks, in 1/2″ slices
5 small red potatoes, cut in half
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/2 a medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 can garbanzo beans, drained
1 cup dried, uncooked lentils
12oz Downeast Cider (you can use any mild cider, beer or root beer)
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 Tbsp. Victoria Gourmet Morrocan Seasoning
1/2 tsp. flaked red pepper
1 tsp. cumin

I don’t have an actual tagine, so I put everything in my crock pot on low for 8 hours, and served over coconut rice.

You could optionally add 1/4 cup of raisins to this before cooking, for a punch of sweetness! I just don’t have any raisins at the moment.

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