Moroccan Lamb Stew with Couscous
There are many variations of this North African stew, both in terms of the spices used and the meat (or lack of meat). Feel free to substitute beef for lamb, or skip it entirely for a vegetarian version. Traditionally served over a mound of couscous (preferably whole wheat), this hearty and healthful dish will serve about 10.
2 lbs lamb shank
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 large yellow onion, diced medium
8 large carrots, cut into 1″ pieces
4-6 zucchini squash, cut into 1″ pieces
2 large sweet potatoes (or white potatoes, or yams)
16 oz can whole peeled tomatoes, with liquid
2 16 oz cans garbanzo beans, with liquid
32 oz chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
3/4 tsp salt (opt)
4 tsp Rockin’ Moroccan spice blend
In a stockpot or Dutch oven, brown the lamb pieces in generous amount of olive oil until very dark all over. Lower heat and add the garlic and onion. Saute for 2-3 minutes, stirring to pick up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Add the rest of the ingredients. If needed, add some water to cover the vegetables. Cover, and raise heat to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook for approximately 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender and the lamb begins to come off the bone (or shred with a fork). Taste for seasoning, and add more salt or Rockin’ Moroccan spice blend as needed.
The stew can rest at this point until ready to serve. When ready, prepare couscous for the number of people you are serving. If using boxed couscous, follow instructions on box.
If using loose couscous, here is what you need to know: one cup of dry couscous serves about 2 people for a main dish. For each cup of dry couscous, you will need to boil 1 1/2 cups of water (or you can use broth for more flavor). Once the liquid boils, turn off the heat and add in the dry couscous. Cover tightly and let sit until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve as the base for your stew.
For detailed info on cooking couscous, check out this neat site: http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/cooking-tips-techniques/cooking/cook-couscous-00000000002332/index.html
Your Moroccan stew can be frozen, but it is best to freeze the couscous and the actual stew separately.