Lamb “Couscous”

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Couscous is a dish made from tiny granules of durum wheat. The couscous grains are then prepared by steaming them until they have a light, fluffy consistency. Couscous is one of the staple foods of the Maghrib (western North Africa). Couscous is made from two different sizes of the husked and crushed, but unground, semolina of hard wheat using water to bind them. The key to preparing an authentic couscous is patience and care. Couscous is cooked in a special kind of cooking ensemble called a kiskis, known by the French word couscousiere in the West, except in Italy, where it is called a couscousiera. A kiskis consists of two parts: the bottom portion is a pot-bellied vessel for the broth while the top part fits snugly over the bottom part and has holes in its bottom for the steam to rise through, which cooks the couscous. In North Africa, they are often made of earthenware or aluminum.

Preparing instant couscous is quick and easy — the dried couscous is added to a pot of boiling water or stock, the pot is then covered and the water is absorbed into the couscous in about five minutes.

Ingredients:

  • 400g / 14 oz Lamb shoulder, boned
  • 400g / 14 oz Couscous
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2 cabbage
  • 1 eggplant
  • 200g / 8 oz Yellow squash
  • 1 hot red pepper
  • coriander seeds
  • ground saffron (one packet)
  • 100 g / 4 oz butter
  • olive oil

Preparation:

– Cut the meat into stew-size pieces and place in a saucepan with a little less than 1 liter (4 cups) boiling water, a dash of salt and pepper, 1 chopped onion, the cabbage, cut into strips, and 50 g / 2 oz butter. Clean and peel the vegetables and cut into chunks; slice the other onion, and add them to the meat along with the hot red pepper and a 1 teaspoon coriander. Cover and cook slowly for 45 minutes, then add the saffron.

lamb with couscous

– In the meantime rinse and drain the couscous. Place it into a bawl, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and a dash of salt; stir ans set aside for 30 minutes.

– Shape the couscous into tiny balls, and put into a strainer to shake off excess grains.

couscous

– Steam the couscous in a couscous-siere, or in a colander with small holes over a pan of boiling water, add a pat of butter now and then and stir. Place the couscous on a serving platter, put the meat on the top ond serve.