Moroccan Cous Cous with Meat and Vegetables
As a revert to Islam I was invited by my local community of Moroccans to eat this Friday afternoon treat. There was a large mountain of vegetable on a soft fluffy bed of cous cous-but where’s the meat? Alhamdulilair Allah has blessed me with a grateful nature and I tend to eat what I am given as long as it’s halal and clean. As you dig your way by eating thru the veggies you finally get to the meat. this is great for the digestion and its always best to eat fruits, salads and veggies before you eat meats or fish, I love this meal its eaten off on bowl and with a nice gravy and spicy onion hot chutney what more could you want after jummah prayers?
This is not my recipe but one I found that is really good and at some point inshallah I will adapt it, however the fotos are mine
|2 teaspoons olive oil2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, chopped
300g trim lamb strips
2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, paprika, turmeric, ground ginger (Plus whatever you have at home)
1 x 440g can peeled tomatoes, with juice
½ – 1 cup water (and/ or ½ cup wine)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups of chopped vegetables*
1 tablespoon each of sultanas; chopped dried apricots and chopped almonds
2 teaspoons chopped mint or parsley (fresh or dried)
300g chickpeas, freshly cooked or canned
|Serve with2 cups WHOLEMEAL cous cous
3 ½ cups boiling water
Heat oil in a wok or fry pan until hot, sauté onion and garlic.
Add lamb and stir-fry until cooked through.
Add spices and all ingredients, except chickpeas, stir then cover and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes.
Add chickpeas and allow to heat through for 5 minutes. Mean while, prepare cous cous.
Place cous cous in a large serving bowl, add boiling water, cover and set aside for 3 minutes.
After 3 minutes, use a fork to rake the cous cous and heap on Meat and Vegetables.
Lean lamb is a good source of iron
*Wonder how to get 5 cups? Try using these: 2 carrots, chopped; 1 potato, diced; 1 zucchini, sliced; 1 small eggplant, diced; ½ cup frozen peas or broad beans; 2 stalks celery; 1 capsicum, diced.
Per Serve: 1738kJ; Prot 32g; Fat 10g; CHO 60g; Fibre 16g; Calcium 150mg
For the lamb:
145g/5oz lamb chump steak, trimmed
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne
1 tbsp olive oil
½ red onion
½ glass red wine
110ml/4fl oz boiled water
2 tsp tomato purée
30g/1oz dried apricots, finely sliced
30g/1oz whole blanched almonds, halved
1 knob of butter
freshly ground black pepper
For the cous cous:
85g/3oz cous cous
1 tsp vegetable oil
½ lemon, juice of
1 tsp chopped fresh mint
1 tsp chopped fresh coriander
freshly ground black pepper
1. In a small bowl, mix together the spices for lamb.
2. Coat the lamb in half of the mixed spices and season.
3. Heat two teaspoons of the olive oil in a small frying pan. Fry the lamb for 3-4 minutes on each side or until just cooked through.
4. In a small pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Sauté the onion for two minutes.
5. Place the cous cous in a small pan and pour over enough vegetable stock to cover the cous cous by 2.5cm/1in. Stir in the oil, cover and gently cook for three minutes. Stir the remaining lamb spices into the onion for 30 seconds.
6. Add the wine and bring to a simmer for one minute, then stir in the water, tomato purée and apricots. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to a simmer for 2-3 minutes.
7. Remove the cous cous from the heat and allow to steam until cooked through.
8. Transfer the lamb to a serving plate and allow to rest.
9. Add the butter and almonds to the sauce. Swirl the pan until well combined.
10. Fork through the cous cous to separate the grains then stir in the lemon juice and herbs. Season.
11. Pour the sauce over the lamb and serve with the cous cous to the side.
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- 1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) dry couscous (not instant)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 kg (2 lbs. 3 oz.) lamb or beef, cut into large pieces on the bone (or 1 whole chicken)
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 3 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant
- 1 handful of parsley and cilantro sprigs, tied into a bouquet
- 1/2 of a small cabbage, cut into 2 or 3 sections
- 3 or 4 turnips, peeled and halved
- 10 carrots, peeled and halved
- 1 or 2 tomatoes, peeled and quartered
- 1 or 2 small onions, whole or halved
- 1 small acorn squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3″ pieces)
- 4 or 5 small zucchini (long or 8-ball round), ends removed and halved
- 2 or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and halved (optional)
- 1/4 cup dry chickpeas, soaked overnight (optional)
- 1/2 cup fresh fava beans (optional)
- 1 or 2 jalapeño or chili peppers (optional)*
- 2 tablespoons butter (for the couscous)
- 1 tablespoon salt (for the couscous)
- 1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan preserved butter – optional)
Mix the meat, onion, tomatoes, oil and spices in the bottom of a couscoussier. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the meat is browned and the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce.
Add 2 1/2 litres (about 2 1/2 quarts) of water, the parsley/cilantro bouquet, and the chick peas. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer rapidly for 25 to 30 minutes. (Note: If omitting both meat and chick peas, there’s no need to simmer for awhile before proceeding to the next step.)
First Steaming of the Couscous
See the photo tutorial How to Steam Couscous if you’ve never used a couscoussier before.
While the meat is cooking, get the couscous ready for its first steaming. Oil the steamer basket and set it aside. Empty the dry couscous into a very large bowl, and work in 1/4 cup of vegetable oil with your hands, tossing the couscous and rubbing it between your palms. (This will help prevent the couscous grains from clumping together.) Next, work in 1 cup of water in the same manner, using your hands to evenly distribute the liquid into the couscous. Transfer the couscous to the oiled steamer basket.
Add the cabbage to the broth, and place the steamer basket on top. Once you see steam rising from the couscous, steam the couscous for 15 minutes.
Note: If you see steam escaping from between the basket and couscoussier, you’ll need to seal the joint. You can do this in several ways:
- wrap and tie a long piece of damp cloth over the joint, or
- tightly wrap a long piece of kitchen plastic film around the joint, or
- wrap and drape a long piece of kitchen plastic film onto the rim of the couscoussier, and then place the basket on top (this is my preferred method)
Once the couscous has steamed for 15 minutes, empty it back into your large bowl and break it apart.
Second Steaming of the Couscous
When the couscous has cooled enough to handle, gradually work in 2 cups of water and 1 tablespoon of salt with your hands. Again, toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps. Transfer the couscous back into the steamer, taking care not to pack or compress the couscous.
Add the turnips, tomatoes, onions, carrots and fava beans (if using) to the pot. Place the steamer basket on top of the couscoussier, and steam the couscous a second time for 15 minutes, timing from when you see the steam rising from the couscous. (Again, seal the joint if you see steam escaping.)
When the couscous has steamed for 15 to 20 minutes, turn it out into the large bowl again. Break it apart, and leave to cool a few minutes.
If using pumpkin, add it to the couscoussier, and cover the pot.
Third Steaming of Couscous
Gradually work 3 cups of water into the couscous with your hands, tossing it and rubbing the grains between your palms. Taste the couscous, and add a little salt if desired.
Transfer about half of the couscous to the steamer basket. Again, try to handle the couscous lightly and avoid packing it into the steamer.
Add the squash, zucchini, and sweet potatoes to the couscoussier, and place the steamer basket on top. (Again, seal the joint if necessary.)
When you see the steam rise through the couscous, carefully add the remaining couscous to the steamer. Continue cooking, watching for the steam to rise from the couscous. Allow the couscous to steam a third time for a full 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, all of the vegetables should be cooked. Test the vegetables to be sure, cooking longer if necessary. Taste the sauce – it should be salty and peppery – and adjust the seasoning if desired.
If you’re using smen, add it to the sauce in the pot.
Serving the Couscous and Vegetables
Empty the couscous into the large bowl, and break it apart. Mix in the 2 tablespoons of butter with 2 ladles of sauce.
To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center. Put the meat into the well, and arrange the vegetables on top and all around. Distribute the sauce evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more sauce.
* If you’re serving the couscous with jalapeño peppers, simmer the peppers, covered, in a half ladle of sauce and a little water, for about 40 minutes, or until the jalapeños are tender. The peppers are typically placed on top of the couscous, and small pieces may be broken off as a condiment.