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Recipe: Lamb Stew with Couscous

Lamb Stew with Couscous (recipe submitted by WDFM customer Stephen Pluhacek)


1½ lbs very lean boneless lamb, preferably from the shank or shoulder, cut into 1½ inch chunks.
3 cups water
5 garlic cloves
1 piece ginger (about the size of the combined garlic cloves), peeled
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp harissa, or to taste
1 large onion, 8 oz., sliced
8 oz. large white turnips (about 2), peeled and cut into 1½ inch chunks
1 small eggplant (about 8 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1½ inch chunks
2 carrots (about 3 oz.), peeled and cut into 1½ inch chunks
1 ripe tomato (about 8 oz.), halved, seeded and cut into 1-inch dice
1 medium zucchini (about 6 oz.), trimmed and cut into 1½ inch chunks
1 16-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup water

1¾ cups water
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 cup couscous
4 oz. (about ¾ cup) dried apricots, but into ½-inch pieces

3 tablespoons harissa


For Stew

Put the lamb in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot and add the water. Puree the garlic cloves and ginger in a mini-chop or food processor (you should have about ¼ cup) and add to the Dutch oven, along with the cumin, salt, tomato paste and 2 tbsp harissa. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil gently, covered, for 45 minutes. Add the onion, turnips, eggplant and carrots, return to a boil, and boil gently for 15 minutes. Add the tomato, zucchini and chickpeas, with the 1/3 cup of water, return to a boil and boil gently for 15 minutes longer. The stew can be made ahead to this point and reheated before serving.

For the Couscous

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and add the butter or olive oil. Add the couscous and the dried apricots. Remove the pan from the heat and let stand for about 10 minutes.

At serving time, reheat the stew if necessary. Pour 1 cup of broth from the hot stew into a serving bowl and add about 3 tbsp harissa (depending on how much heat you want). Stir well and place the harissa on the table so guests can add it to the stew if they wish. Fluff the couscous and put it on individual plates. Make a well in the centre of each mound and fill with a few pieces of meat and vegetables and some of the juices. Serves 4.