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Duck Tagine

I’m not into purely decorative pottery; everything I make is designed to be functional. So there was no point putting my newly-fired tagine on a shelf and looking at it – I wanted to try it out. But I was very wary about using it for the first time. I have a friend who used a brand new tagine (bought from Lakeland), ignored the warnings about heat shock, and had it explode the first time it was used. So first I “seasoned” the base and lid by submerging them in a bucket of water for two hours, followed by putting the damp pots in a cold oven, turning it on to 150°C, leaving them to “bake” for two hours, then turning the oven off and leaving the pots in the oven overnight to cool down.

Carefully cooking a duck and pear`tagine - about to put the lid on

Accepted wisdom – as promulgated by Lakeland amongst others – is to use a heat diffuser when cooking with a terracotta tagine. I think that’s particularly important if you have a gas hob, to avoid hot-spots and sudden changes in temperature. But I have a ceramic hob, so decided to do without, just being very careful not to put the pot down on an already hot ring, but rather to heat it up gently from cold. I made a duck and pear tagine, using duck mini-fillets, onion, home-made chicken stock, and dried pears. There seems little point going to all that effort to make just one portion, so I cooked enough for two meals and had the rest for lunch the next day. The base was just big enough to hold that much, which I reckon was very well judged!

Making full use of my pottery!

I then thought it might be fun to ensure that all the serving dishes etc that I used for dinner were also ones that I’d made. There’s a dinner plate, side plates holding the asparagus and cheese-biscuits, a serving bowl for the couscous, a small bowl for my dessert, a cream-jug and matching saucer, and a small beaker for my glass of wine. I don’t feel the need to learn how to forge my own steel to make knives and forks, but it would be good to have a hand-made glass. Perhaps I should book myself on a glass blowing course next?……

{ 1 } Comments

  1. Jon Williams | 10 June 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Great to see the full range of Gillian ware on show and in use..and I must say the photo of the white tagine in your previous blog looks stunning. Why stop at blowing wine glasses, what about some pottery handled cutlery? I know a great place where you can have a go at making some!! Hope to see you back at EP very soon x