One of the recipes in this month's Moroccan-themed Kitchen Trotter box (click through to see the contents) was for Couscous. I was slightly disappointed because it's a dish that is very common in France, due to the influence of the immigrants from the former French colonies and protectorates of North Africa (Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria), so everyone knows how to make it. It's a great winter warmer though and is ideal for big family dinners because you can just add extra veggies for it to stretch further.
I used turnips, carrots, courgettes, onions and tomatoes, but you could also use cabbage and red or green peppers.
The recipe used three ingredients from the box - Moroccan organic couscous, chermoula spice blend and smen butter, which is clarified butter like ghee.
I used lamb but you could also use chicken or beef. I also put in some sausages from the butcher's, including some traditional spicy merguez.
1tbsp smen butter (or regular butter)
500g of meat of your choice (lamb, beef, chicken, sausages ...)
1 can of chick peas, drained
1tsp each of white pepper, ginger, curcuma and chermoula
fresh coriander and parsley
1 large onion
1 large courgette
a drizzle of olive oil
Put the oil in a tagine or large cooking pot and pre-fry the sausages, if using. Reserve in a dish.
Add the diced lamb/meat, onions, fresh herbs and dried spices.
Cook, stirring, for ten minutes until browned on all sides.
Add 600ml water, pop on a lid and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.
Toss in the quartered turnips, chopped carrots and tomato, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the courgettes and sausages, cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until the courgette is cooked.
Remove a large cupful of the cooking sauce. Put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the hot liquid. Leave to stand and add a knob of butter or smen butter. The box said to cover with clingfilm and zap in the microwave for a couple of minutes - I don't usually but if it's a bit dry, it could help to fluff it up a bit.
Add the chickpeas to the pot and stir everything. Season the liquid to taste - add extra salt and chermoula or spices if desired. Serve the couscous then spoon over the meat, vegetables and sauce.
If you like a nice kick, remove some of the cooking liquid and mix in some harissa. Serve in a little bowl alongside the couscous.
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