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Couscous Recipe

by Kitty Morse

Couscous Beidaoui
serves 6 to 8
This particular couscous is popular in Casablanca.

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds lamb shanks, or lamb shoulder
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes
20 sprigs parsley, washed and tied with string
10 sprigs cilantro, washed and tied with string
6 to 8 cups water
8 Spanish saffron threads, crushed
2 teaspoons ground ginger
4 small carrots, cut into sticks
4 small turnips, quartered
1 pound pumpkin or winter squash
1 small head cabbage, quartered
4 zucchini, unpeeled and quartered
1 (15-ounce can) garbanzo beans, drained
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound package instant couscous
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup raisins plumped in warm water and drained

In a Dutch oven or a large soup pot, heat the oil and brown the lamb on all sides for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the onions, and cook until softened, another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, parsley, cilantro and water, and bring to a rolling boil. Cook, covered for 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, and add the saffron, turmeric, ginger, carrots, turnips, and pumpkin. Cook, covered, until pumpkin is tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Preheat oven to 200ÉF. With a slotted spoon, transfer carrots and pumpkin to a baking dish and keep warm in the oven.

Add the cabbage. Cook with the cover on until cabbage is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer to the oven and keep warm. Discard the parsley and cilantro. Add the zucchini and drained garbanzo beans. Simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions. Add butter and fluff with a fork. To serve, mound the couscous on a serving platter. Top artfully with all the cooked vegetables. Surround with lamb pieces. Sprinkle with raisins. Serve with extra broth on the side.

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