Veal Tajine with Almonds and Onions

A tajine is a Moroccan dish where the list of ingredients used is unvaryingly and mathematically precise, the exact recipe depending on the type of meat or fish used. This recipe using almonds and onions is a traditional one, although I have added oranges.


  • 2 lb veal shank, cut into pieces and rinsed
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp ground saffron
  • 10 tbsp ( sticks) butter
  • lb onions, finely sliced
  • 1⅓ cups almonds, blanched and peeled
  • Grated zest and juice of 2 oranges
  • 3-4 tsp minced parsley


Put the veal in a braising vessel, and season with salt and pepper. Add most of the saffron, the butter, half the onions, the almonds, orange zest and juice, and enough water just to cover. Cover and cook over a low heat, or in a preheated oven at 325°F, for 1½ hours, stirring from time to time and adding a little more water if necessary.

When the meat is cooked and almost falling off the bones, remove the veal and keep it warm. Add the remaining onions to the pot, along with the parsley, a little salt, and the remaining saffron, and shake the vessel so that the ingredients are well mixed. Simmer, uncovered, over a low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the onions are tender but still firm. Correct the seasoning. Return the veal to the pot and reheat gently.

Lift out the veal again and arrange on top of couscous on a hot serving platter. Spoon the onions and almonds on top. Strain the sauce, which should be light-bodied but not too liquid, and pour over the veal.