Recipe du Jour: Moroccan Stew

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I love cuisines that make great use of spices. India or Middle Eastern, it doesn’t matter. There’s something about the warmth of spices that turns something into instant comfort food. Herbs tend to make something fresh and light, but spices make it earthy and filling. And this dish is no exception. While I’m sure it’s not really authentic (it comes from Rachel Ray, after all), it still invokes some good flavors

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil or butter
  • ¾ pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 (10 ounce) box couscous or equivalent bulk couscous

Directions

In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon oil or butter over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring, until browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; discard the fat in the pan. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil or butter and the onion to the pan and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and 2/3 cup water to the pan and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, stir in the beef and parsley and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the couscous according to package directions. Serve the stew over the couscous.

Notes: I haven’t ever made this with lamb even though the original recipe calls for it, mainly because I’m not sure where I would purchase ground lamb. It’s much easier for me to get a hold of ground beef, and that makes it an easy weeknight solution for me. I don’t think the couscous is necessary; you could easily eat the stew over anything starchy, or in a pita, or just by itself.

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