Now, don't let the cold breezes, showery mornings and chilly evenings fool you. It's summer. The tennis is on, the T20 is playing and there are even some cicadas who have braved the unseasonably cool times. So, therefore, it's summer, right?
So, then, why is it that I'm dreaming of a Spicy Lentil Soup or a Beef and Mushroom Stroganoff?
Now, I love summer; but this just isn't hot-enough for me. Not sure where you're reading this right now, but top-of-26° just isn’t hot-enough for me.
So, with that in mind, I’ve made a Moroccan Lamb and Couscous dish for tonight’s dinner. It’s a dish I usually serve to large numbers of friends on a cold, Winter’s evening, but desperate times call for desperate measures.
I love how you can put this dish together in one pot, leave it in the oven for 4 - 5 hours and warm up the home with tasty, home-cooked smells.
Ingredients for Moroccan Lamb (to serve 8 people)
1 leg of lamb*
1 large can of chopped tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 spanish onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp sweet, smoked paprika**
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsps each of chilli powder, cinnamon, cloves, turmeric
2 bay leaves
¼ cup sesame seeds, dry roasted
Salt to taste
Ingredients for couscous
2 cups couscous
2 cups boiling water/stock
1 tbsp butter
1 carrot, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
1 spanish onion, diced
1½ cups pine nuts, dry roasted
1 cup fresh flat-leaved parsley
Turn on oven to 260°C.
Add all ingredients into a large pot and cook, covered, for 3 – 4 hours.
Check on it every hour-or-so and ensure that there is always plenty of glorious thick, red liquid in it. If it looks like it's drying-out add boiling water/stock to it.
The lamb bone will pull away easily.
10 minutes before you're ready to plate-up, fry the chopped onion, carrot and celery stalk. When completely cooked, add it to the 2 cups of boiling water and add butter. Stir to thoroughly combine. Add this water mixture to the couscous and stir gently, making sure that all the couscous is drenched. Cover the couscous for 5 mins. Just before serving add the pine nuts, fluff the couscous with a fork and stir-in the parsley.
To plate-up, sprinkle the lamb with the toasted sesame seeds.
|Beautiful, golden sesame seeds.|
* Now, this is just my personal taste, but I don’t like lamb/beef/chicken/pork fat. I know, I know; fat is flavour. But it never tastes flavoursome to me. It just tastes like fat. So I’ve cut off as much of the fat as I can. You can choose to keep or cut out the fat. Totally up to you. No judgement.
** I’ve made a point of photographing this particular paprika because it just so happens to be my favourite. I’ve had plenty of paprika before, but it’s always seemed tasteless to me. ‘Bolero’ paprika is, in my humble opinion, the best I’ve tasted.
Prep time: Lamb, 20 mins. Couscous, 10 mins.
Cooking time: Lamb, 4 - 5 hours. Couscous, none.
Cost: Approx $50, but I already had most of the ingredients in my pantry.
Would I cook it again?: And again, and again, and again...
What would I do differently next time?: This is a tried and tested meal, so I probably wouldn't change it too much.