Za'atar tagine with venison, potatoes and carrots.

The za’atar-fueled experimentation continues. However, so does my resourcefulness. 

While I was away, I’m reasonably certain Joel ate, but there wasn’t much hanging around the house in the way of actual food to prove it. And, in an effort to be as productive as possible in getting caught up on work and generally readjusting, I refused to go to the store. We had a package of venison hamburger, carrots, onion, vegetable stock, and a bag of small mixed potatoes…and of course an enormous box of za’atar.

My stubbornness combined with jet lag and these ingredients could have spelled disaster. Instead, it made for a sort of incredible dish along the lines of a goulash or tagine.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1 lb ground venison, lamb or beef

2 TBSP coconut oil

1/2 red onion, chopped (1/2 – 3/4 cup) 

1/2 yellow onion, chopped (1/2 – 3/4 cup)

*Mixing the two kinds of onion lends a more interesting and layered flavor, I think.

3 medium carrots, sliced

3 cloves of garlic, pressed

4 TBSP za’atar

2 cups of small, mixed potatoes, cut in half or into 1-inch chunks

2 cups of vegetable stock (enough to cover the contents of the pot once combined)

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste 

Brown meat in a skillet, drain if necessary and set aside. 

In an enameled cast iron pot, heat coconut oil. Add onions and sauté until barely translucent. Add carrots, garlic and 2 TBSP za’atar and continue sautéing for 5-7 minutes, until onions begin to brown. 


Add potatoes and sauté until they begin to brown in places.


Add remaining za’atar, some Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, then cover with vegetable stock. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender and liquid is reduced by half. Add ground meat. Cook a bit longer to reduce liquid even more. When thickened to your liking, serve.