Lamb and vegetables is an essential Moroccan combination that shows up in tagines and here in couscous. This couscous showcases the ultimate Moroccan spice blend, Ras El Hanout, "top of the shop," with each spice merchant having his own super secret blend. Mustapha's blend was created in Morocco by a top spice merchant, and it contains 21 different herbs and spices, an aromatic wonder.
2 pound couscous
6 ounce dried chick peas, soaked overnight
¾ pound carrots, wash, peel, and quarter
¾ pound turnips, wash, peel, and quarter
½ pound zucchini, wash, peel, and quarter
2-1/2 pound lamb shoulder cut into ½-inch chunks
4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 stalk celery
1 bunch of cilantro
2 onions, peeled and quartered
1 teaspoon Fleur de Sel
1 tablespoon Moroccan Ras el Hanout
6 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bird's beak chile (optional)
1. In the bottom of the coscoussier add the olive oil, lamb, tomatoes, celery, cilantro, onion and salt. Add ½ of the Ras el Hanout and the water. Bring to a boil and cook until the meat is tender, about 15 minutes, and adjust the seasoning.
2. Add the vegetables and cook about 10 minutes more. Add the tomato paste and chile pepper and cook 5 minutes more.
3. Cook the couscous using the traditional method, and add the remainder of the Ras el Hanout during the first cooking.
4. Pile the couscous on a large platter, arrange the meat and vegetables on top and drizzle with the cooking liquid.