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  Added: Apr 11, 2006  •  Visited (1084)  •  Print version Print this recipe (70)  •  eMail recipe eMail recipe  •  Write review  •  Not rated Rate this recipe
Couscous With Beef And Vegetables
(Kouski bil Lahm)
What You Need:
  • 2 pounds couscous (see Glossary)
  • 2˝ teaspoons salt dissolved in 2˝ cups cold water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into bits

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds boneless chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes and patted dry with paper towels
  • 3 cups finely chopped onions
  • 4 teaspoons hrisa
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • ˝ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 medium-sized carrots, peeled and cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces
  • 4 medium-sized turnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ˝ cabbage, cored and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • ˝ pound (about 1 cup) dried chick-peas (garbanzos), soaked for 12 hours, drained, rinsed, simmered in water to cover for 1 hour and drained again, or substitute 2 cups drained canned chick-peas
  • 3 medium-sized firm ripe tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 6 medium-sized boiling potatoes, peeled
  • 4 small unpeeled zucchini, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • How To Cook:
    1. Spread the coucous enly in a large shallow pan. Sprinkle it with 2 cups of the salted water, then dribble the tablespoon of oil over the top.

    2. Rub the moistened grains gently between your palms, dropping the couscous back into the pan until the water and oil have been completely absorbed.

    3. Cover with foil or plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature for 15 minutes; the pellets will swell slightly.

    4. Meanwhile, in the lower part of a 4-quart couscoussier or in a deep 6- quart kettle or casserole, heat 1 cup of oil until a light haze forms above it.

    5. Add the cubes of meat and the onions, and sprinkle the meat with the hrisa, allspice, salt and a few grindings of black pepper.

    6. Fry uncovered over high heat for 6 to 8 minutes, turning the meat over frequently with tongs until it is golden brown on all sides.

    7. Add the carrots, turnips, cabbage, chick-peas and tomatoes, pour in 3 cups of cold water (or just enough to cover the meat and vegetables), and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.

    8. Set the top part of the couscoussier in place. Or set a colander lined with cheesecloth into the kettle or casserole; it should not touch the food in the pot.

    9. Twist damp paper towels or kitchen towels into long narrow strips and wrap them around the rim of the couscoussier or kettle to seal the joint between the upper and lower parts.

    10. Slowly add about 2 cups of the couscous to the upper pot or colander, rubbing the pellets between your palms as you drop them in, and letting them mound naturally.

    11. When steam begins to rise through the pellets, add another cup or so of couscous in the same manner. Repeat, letting steam appear after each addition.

    12. When all the couscous has been rubbed into the pot or colander, continue to steam uncovered and undisturbed for 20 minutes.

    13. Then remove the top part, return the couscous to the shallow pan again, spread it out with a wooden spoon, and set aside to dry.

    14. As the vegetables and meat become tender, transfer them with a slotted spoon to a platter and drape foil over them to keep them warm.

    15. Add the potatoes, zucchini and pumpkin to the pot and, if necessary, pour in enough boiling water to cover the vegetables completely. Stirring occasionally, bring to a boil over high heat.

    16. Then reduce the heat to low, set the top pot or colander in place again, and let the vegetables cook while you complete the preparation of the couscous.

    17. Sprinkle the remaining ˝ cup of salted water and the butter bits over the couscous and rub the grains gently between your palms as before until the water and butter are completely absorbed.

    18. Again seal the joint at the rim of the pot with the towel strips. Slowly add 2 cups of the couscous to the top pot or colander as you did before, rubbing the pellets between your palms as you drop them in, letting them mound naturally, and waiting for steam to appear before adding more.

    19. Steam uncovered and undisturbed for about 15 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender but not falling apart. Transfer it with a slotted spoon to the reserved meat and vegetables, then replace the top.

    20. Continue to steam the couscous disturbed for another 10 or 15 minutes, or until it is soft but still somewhat resistant to the bite.

    21. To serve, mound the couscous on a large heated platter. Return the meat and vegetables to the pot and cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, until they are heated through.

    22. Moisten the couscous with about 1 cup of the sauce in the pot, and arrange the pieces of meat and vegetables around it. Pour the rest of the sauce into a bowl and stir in the remaining 3 teaspoons of hrisa.

    23. Serve at once, accompanied if you like by one or more of the traditional Tunisian relishes:potato salad, turnip-and-lime juice relish, or cucumber relish.
    Serving Size: 6
     This recipe is also available in:
    Cuisine » Africa » Tunisian
    Main Ingredient » Meat & Poultry » Beef
    Main Ingredient » Pasta
    Main Ingredient » Vegetables » Turnip
    Dish » Appetizers


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