Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Dafina - Moroccan Shabbat Stew - For Dan

September 14, 2015 marked the 3rd anniversary of the passing of my brother Daniel.  Daniel loved his family and loved cooking for his family and friends.  That's why he started Haggis and the Herring.

Every year I have been posting one recipe to honour him.  

I was recently in Toronto for a family wedding.  My sister'n'law Brianne was getting married.  During one of the post wedding celebration meals, her husbands aunt made a Moroccan dish that I had not had in a long time.  Dafina is a Moroccan stew made on the Sabbath because the cooking is started before shabbat begins, and finishes after it ends, so your meal is ready to be eaten.
This is what it takes to make some Dafina
This was a staple dish my dads mother (Mama) made every Saturday for lunch.  The whole family, all the aunts and cousins would cram into my grandparents 2 bedroom apartment around a string of tables and just enjoy everyones company.
Lets get this thing boiling!
After Mama passed away my Auntie Debbie and Uncle Gerry took over hosting shabbat lunch, and my aunt took over the tradition of making Dafina for the family.  I asked my aunt for her recipe, because I wanted to try it out.  In true form, like someone that cooks from the heart, she gave me a rough cut of the recipe, with no measurements of spices or ingredients, just guided by love of the food.  You know when its right.
Ready to eat!
So in true family fashion, I made up Dafina and invited my mother'n'law and father'n'law over to share the meal.  I was so happy to be able to make this meal for family like my grandmother would.  Made me proud, because I don't tap into my Moroccan heritage all that much, especially when it comes to cooking.  I'm glad they enjoyed it too!

This is how you can make this traditional meal (Roughly speaking of course since I guessed on some of the measurements):

  • Large piece of chuck steak (I used stewing beef)
  • Potato and Yams/Sweet Potato peeled (Enough for at least one piece for each person of each kind)
  • Eggs (Enough for at least one person)
  • Large can of chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • One large spanish onion
  • 3-4 Cinnamon sticks (depending on how much you are making
  • About 1 tbsp Garlic powder
  • About 1 tbsp Paprika
  • About 1 1bsp Tumeric
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  1. Season meat with garlic powder, paprika and tumeric and let sit with dry rub while you peel the potato and take skin off the onion.  If you don't think 1 tbsp of each is enough, just mess around and add more or less.  The meat shouldn't be drenched in it, just nicely seasoned.
  2. In a large oven safe pot, layer the following:
    • seasoned meat on the bottom
    • Potato (both kinds)
    • Onion
    • Eggs (gently to not crack)
    • Can of chickpeas drained
    • Cinnamon sticks
  3. Fill pot with water to cover ingredients in pot
  4. Boil for 1 hour (In a traditional sense, you would do this before shabbat starts)
  5. You can now either:
    • Place in oven at 225 all night until morning and then place back on stove top and put on low until you are ready to eat or;
    • Place in a slow cooker on low all night until you are ready to eat the next day
Serve with a baguette to dip and suck up all the sauce!

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